Read, read, read… celebrate literacy this September.

Read, read, read… celebrate literacy this September.

When last did you read a book? Really sat down and got swept away with a story for hours. Can’t remember? Well, let today be that day. Today, the 6th of September, it’s Read a Book Day, and on the 8th of September, we’re also celebrating International Literacy Day.

“Literacy is one of the greatest gifts a person could receive.” – Jen Selinsky

Since 1967 UNESCO has been celebrating Literacy Day, and they do so by reminding the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning. Even though there are now close to four billion literate people in the world, some still don’t have this privilege.

More than 780 million people over the age of 15 still lack basic reading and writing skills. Two-thirds of them are women. According to the United Nations, female literacy has improved by just 1 percent since 2000.

Being literate in a third world country can change someone’s life. In these parts of the world, reading and writing lift you out of poverty and creates opportunities for people to care for their families. Literacy builds self-esteem and contributes to gender equality.

We often take the ability to read and write for granted. Reading is a crucial skill in our daily lives. Navigating through the world without being able to read or write is challenging and is a blockade for experiencing so many things. Let’s make a difference on these two literacy-focused days!

How can you make a difference?

  • Donate old books to Sandton Library at Nelson Mandela Square.
  • Volunteer at the local library.
  • Donate books to children in need.
  • Find out more about your community’s efforts to better literacy in your area.
  • Volunteer as a tutor.
  • Contribute to a learner’s tuition.

How to personally celebrate these days?

By reading, of course! These days call for all book lovers to indulge in their favourite hobby, guilt-free. Even if you’re not an avid reader, start today. Start with one page. You might just find it to be quite beneficial. Some of the benefits of reading include:

  • Strengthen the brain.
  • Builds vocabulary.
  • Increases empathy.
  • Prevents cognitive decline.
  • Reduces stress.
  • Aids sleep.
  • Alleviates depression.
  • Lengthens lifespan.

Don’t know where to start?

Exclusive Books at Benmore Centre and Sandton City will be able to assist! There are so many wonderful books out there. If you don’t know where to start or what you really like, here are a few novels to help get you on your way:

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  3. The Lord of the Rings (1-3) by J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  6. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

For more epic titles, click here for Business Insider’s 100 books everyone should read before they die.

Do you have a book that you want to read? Join the Read a Book Day and International Literacy Day celebration! Share your favourite books with friends, family, and fellow readers. The world can be a better place by reading just one book!

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin