International Literacy Day
September 8 is International Literacy Day . Many of us take the ability to read for granted. We forget the millions in the USA who cannot read, or can only read simple things.
It was not that long ago that all communications were by word of mouth. First man learned to write, and to read what was written. ( There were probably some who thought writing to be evil, that man should depend totally on memory.) For many years, only a few people were scribes. Texts were copied by hand. Creation of the medium was a major chore.
In 1436 Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. It has been downhill ever since. With more reading material available, more people learned to read. They were no longer dependent on what their leaders told them. Whether this made the people more independent, or made the leaders work harder to manipulate the people, is a good question.
While reading is a good activity, a bit of thought about what you are reading is helpful. Not everything that you read is the truth. This is why PG likes fiction…with a novel, you know it is a made up story.
Today, there is more to read than ever. The printed page is supplemented by the digital offering. Not everyone is happy about the advent of e books. Indeed, both hard copy and virtual verbiage have pros and cons, in addition to prose and poetry.
There is also collections of quotes about reading. These provide a collection of different ideas, not all of which are agreeable. The pictures for today’s adventure are from The Library of Congress. An HT for the word on ILD goes to Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub .
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~Author Unknown- There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and a tired man who wants a book to read. ~G.K. Chesterton ( PG does not really agree with this. It is included as an illustration of the difference between wisdom and a clever phrase.)- Many people, other than the authors, contribute to the making of a book, from the first person who had the bright idea of alphabetic writing through the inventor of movable type to the lumberjacks who felled the trees that were pulped for its printing. It is not customary to acknowledge the trees themselves, though their commitment is total. ~Forsyth and Rada, Machine Learning- I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~Anna Quindlen, “Enough Bookshelves,” New York Times, 7 August 1991 (PG went to a party once at a grand house. There was a library room, whose walls were lined with bookshelves. The man used the shelves to display his baseball hat collection.)- Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx- A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb- We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate. ~Henry Miller- Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you. ~Harold Bloom- There’s nothing to match curling up with a good book when there’s a repair job to be done around the house. ~Joe Ryan – A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul. ~Franz Kafka- Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all. ~Abraham Lincoln- Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. ~Jessamyn West ( As the prolific Author Unknown puts it, to tell the truth you need to write fiction. Also, real life is bad fiction.)- TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book. ~Author Unknown- Books had instant replay long before televised sports. ~Bern Williams- This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum. ~Elbert Hubbard- Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. ~Mark Twain- No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning- Medicine for the soul. ~Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes- I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget. ~William Lyon Phelps- Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes. ~John LeCarre- Never judge a book by its movie. ~J.W. Eagan ( A man sat behind a lady and a dog in a movie theater once. The dog sat on the edge of his seat during chase scenes, and howled at the jokes. Finally, the man could contain himself no longer, and tapped the woman on the shoulder. Ma’m, I am astonished at your dog’s enjoyment of this movie. So am I, Sir, he hated the book.) – The multitude of books is making us ignorant. ~Voltaire- There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book; books are well written or badly written. ~Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891 – Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. ~Richard Steele, Tatler, 1710- A dirty book is rarely dusty. ~Author Unknown