One of our newspapers The Evening Standard is running a campaign to tackle illiteracy in London. According to the paper, one in three children do not own a book and how one million working adults cannot read in the city. I am shocked that so many people are being held back in the world by not be able to read and saddened that so many either do not want to read or do not have access to books to do so.
I grew up reading. Books held shape the person I am today. I constantly read through my childhood and teens. I remember reading whilst eating breakfast. Books transport you into another world. They allow you to imagine, to analyse, to dream and to see different places and different things. I find it heartbreaking that some children don’t have a chance or don’t want to discover books.
For me, learning to read is as important as learning to walk and talk and yes even breathe. Everyone should have the support they need to be able to read. Even if they never embrace books in the same way I did, everyday life must be a constant struggle if you can’t read – even using a computer requires it.
I hope this campaign helps. I hope people who struggle with reading step forward to get help. I hope parents encourage their children to learn. I hope children leave their video games and pick up a book instead. I hope all children have access to books. And I hope books never lose their power to inspire.
Can you imagine not be able to read?