It doesn’t matter where you start – just start. 10/12/2008

Who knew that I would have been inspired to write about reading just by listening to a segment on reading to your children that aired this morning on the Korean television channel? The staff of the program conducted an experiment to test how Korean children ranked in the world when it came to reading (how much they read, how interested they are in reading, how strong their desire is to read et cetera).
The results showed that Finland, of all places, ranked the highest in the world, not only in terms of strength in children’s desire to read, but in the overall number of readers. Finland is, as it turns out, a nation of readers. While Korean children (and I presume the children of most nations in the world) learn the rudimentary structure of their own language and how to write the language (id est: the writing system, sounding words out et cetera), the children of Finland don’t learn to write their language until the age of seven, thus, according to one of the Finnish doctors of child psychology, further fostering the creativity and imagination of the child’s mind. If the mothers aren’t reading to their children, the children are being read to while in preschool/kindergarden by their teacher.
Well, if that’s the case, I wonder how American children would rank in this survey. However, that data wasn’t available on the show. Although I don’t have this information, I do have another tidbit of disturbing news. Were you aware that the national average of college-educated adults is two books a year? Yes, you read that correctly – TWO books a year! When I first learned that, it blew my mind. Then I though, “Wait a minute; when was the last time I read a full book?” I wasn’t sure. So, it was then that I started reading anew.
After watching the show today, I jumped online and, in the Google search bar, I typed in: FACTS ABOUT READING. I found one web site in particular to be quite informative regarding the topic. The web site (The Reading Site) offers numerous tips on reading as well as advice to those of us that have found excuses in the past or have been waiting for the perfect time to read when all is quiet and all sources of stress in life have gone and everything is well. C’mon people, those times are not going to happen and life is not going to wait for that. Time moves along. You have to enjoy it, you know? Get to the bookstore or the library or your bookshelf or anyplace that has the book that you have been wanting to read! Get there and (like Nike*) Just Do It! The web site above will tell you all about the time that you have been wasting looking for a reason not to read. Folks, the sooner you grow up, the sooner you’re going to get old. You must (I repeat)… You must strive to find your imagination, your creativity and your ability to be all things and all places at any time. When was the last time you had this power to do this? The answer for most of us is: childhood.
You need to make time to be yourself again and lose yourself in the world that you want to be in again. Just do it.
Aside from the mere fun of it all, you’ll be helping yourself in ways that I could write about for hours. Your vocabulary will increase (a topic I could tear my hair out about), your overall knowledge (I don’t care if you’re reading about something sensual, animated, violent, haunted, mysterious, healing or meditative) will increase, your confidence will build, your reading speed will increase, your memory will strengthen et cetera.
For most of us, it’s a question of where to start. The answer – anywhere. Go online, find answers to your questions. Get reading.


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