3 Days, 3 Quotes #3

All of us writing blogs and reading the blogs of others on this site, not to mention reading magazines and books and other websites and subtitles and road signs and even obnoxious billboards, might have forgotten a time when we could not read and write.

All of us writing blogs and reading the blogs of others on this site, not to mention reading magazines and books and other websites and subtitles and road signs and even obnoxious billboards, might have forgotten a time when we could not read and write. In honor and respect of the joy we all obtain from reading and writing, my third quote, goaded forth from me by Julie, is:

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895)
In October 2015 the Pew Research Center summarized its recent data on American reading habits – not the same as literacy, but important nonetheless. If found that 72% of Americans reported reading a book (in any format) in the past year. The average American reads 12 books a year, but there is a “gender gap.” The average American woman reads 14 books, while the American man reads 9. College graduates averaged 17 books/year, while people who didn’t graduate high school read 3. In households that made above $75k, the average reader knocked out 15 books/year, while households making less than $30k read 7 books/year. The link posted below the following video breaks the data down further. Give it a read….

I had hoped to report on global literacy rates but found that the available data are under-reported, reported sporadically, or not reported by many governments. Data from 2010 – the year in which the most data was reported recently for the largest number of countries, literacy rates ranged from 25.1% (Guinea) to 99.8% (Azerbaijan). The average literacy rate for all of us is about 86%, with males at 90% and females at 83%, but again, these data are incomplete; it is, therefore, an unknown what the actual average may be.

Interpreting the data may lead to an inappropriate conclusion as well. If one of us were to get a 90% or 86% or 83% on a really difficult exam we might feel relieved but people who cannot read – and who knows how many that really is – learn by oral tradition and probably will not attend school and take exams and become competitive in the world of technologies and international negotiations. They may have a full life still but don’t we all have a secret wish that everyone could read and write? It may not be obvious but literacy affects health; if a patient cannot read materials provided by a physician or read the label on a prescription, the effort to regain health may be for naught.

In an earlier post today I noted that those of us who can help should consider doing so. Improving literacy is a worthy area to help this big old planet out. What if the whole world blogged with us?

Literary Facts Infographic (UNESCO)

UNESCO Literacy Program

UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report

 

A Brief, Mysterious Biography

I was born in 1953 to people I don’t know and raised by people I wish I knew better. I have an academic background in literature and science and have worked in positions of increasing responsibility for over thirty years in one realm of the healthcare industry.

Biographical note: I was born in 1953 to people I don’t know and raised by people I wish I knew better. I have an academic background in literature and science and have worked in positions of increasing responsibility for over thirty years in one realm of the healthcare industry. I am interested in many areas of knowledge; literature and science (obviously), but also film, art, many types of music, various episodes in our peculiar, shared, often ignored history, political behavior (rather than politics), various religions. I wish there were more time in every day and more days in every life. I have more books than I know what to do with and keep on adding things to my wishlist that I may never get to read, but it is better to be curious than not, alive than dead.