Did you know September 8th is International Literacy Day? And that it’s been so designated all the way back to October 1966? That’s over 50 years ago! Why isn’t this a national holiday when we honor the day with a day of quiet or communal reading? Can you imagine all the televisions, computers, and other devices turned off for the day while we just curl up with a good book?
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) set the day aside to ‘highlight literacy to individuals, communities and societies.’ The first International Literacy Day was celebrated in 1967.
I was celebrating a grandson’s 2nd birthday on Saturday, but Sunday was our local Afternoon of Poetry and Prose, a monthly reading and open mic event. During the opening announcements one of the attendees announced the upcoming Yorkville Literary Festival. This will be a two-day event dedicated to readers of all ages and will include authors talking about their books and process, a slam poetry event and a community read.
It seems I’m often surrounded by books and reading.
Reading has always been a favorite pastime. It began with my Mom. She was an avid reader, which I assume came from my Grandma Schmitt because she always had stacks of books she was reading, all at the same time. I’ve picked up that habit and it boggles hubby’s mind how I keep them straight. Like most readers I know, I have a book with me whenever I go anywhere. In fact when I’m forced to buy a new purse one of the requirements is that it’s big enough to hold a standard paperback book.
This is where it all began. The Galion Library is an Andrew Carnegie library and beautiful inside and out. When I go back home I try to stop inside just to look at the dome window and to breath in the scent of old wood and old books.
It was a beloved place for many reasons, including librarians Mrs. Gill and Mrs. Phipps. Just recently I found a copy of a Caldecott book that Mrs. Gill set aside for me, letting me be the first reader of the beautifully illustrated The Nightingale.
So what about you? What is your first memory of reading or being read to?
Where is your favorite place to read?
Now that you know September 8th is International Literacy Day, how will you celebrate it next year?
On Thursday peek back inside A Writer’s Window for an interview with author Lisa Puls Dunn.
What wonderful thoughts, Kim. My favorite remembrance about reading is a book my parents gave me about little girls in different countries. I traveled to Japan, The Netherlands and other countries that seemed so far away. It was the beginning of my love of learning about other cultures, which ultimately led me to teaching English as a Second Language. We have so much to learn from other cultures, and I feel so lucky to have learned that……
Ev I love that! I can almost picture you as a little girl yourself reading about all those other little girls. I can see where those books would definitely broaden your worldview, even at such a young age. It’s no wonder you’re such a curious, welcoming adult!