The person who does not read books has no advantage over the person who can’t read them.

child reading

I can’t take credit for the title today.  Mr. Mark Twain came up with it.

An old friend told me in the grocery store the other day she was enjoying this blog.  But she wondered why I had chosen literacy as its theme. She went on to say that, while she certainly saw the importance of reading and writing, our nation has fallen dangerously behind others in math and science.

I was quick to tell her that we would be in even greater danger if I were to blog about math or science. And, since I know she enjoys reading for pleasure, I said I hoped she will benefit from responses about what folks are reading.  Which I hope you all will start providing.  (That’s a hint; more of a prod.)

When I’d had time to think about my friend’s question I formulated what I should have told her.  That happens to me all the time; does it to you?  In point of fact, the reason you’re about to read is one that I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for years. Metaphorically, of course, since I can no longer get up on rooftops.

It’s simple really.  People who are good at reading and writing will likely end up being good at any number of things.  Plus readers have access to countless more ideas and windows on the world than nonreaders.

Here’s perhaps the major reason.  It’s a personal opinion, but I think I’ve lived long enough and taught enough kids to have seen it proven correct many, many times.

People who grow up in houses that contain books and adults that read them – and read them to their children – have a far greater chance of becoming lifelong readers.  And those people begin with an enormous  advantage on a growing segment of the population.

Let me know what you think about this – on the blog, not just on Facebook or in an email.  And if you’re a mathematician or a scientist, watch your language please.



5 thoughts on “The person who does not read books has no advantage over the person who can’t read them.

  1. If I hadn’t gotten hooked on reading at an early age, I don’t know what I would’ve turned out to be. I’d rather not think about it, really! Reading allows you to step into and experience countless lifetimes within our own lifespan. I can’t say the same about math or science.


  2. Have always been a reader , probably as a result of being brought up in a home full of books and readers.
    One of my greatest adventures with my grandsons, and I’ve had too many to count, was reading and sharing stories with them.
    Zach and Noah would spend at least one night every weekend with us. When it came bedtime, after sending Papa upstairs to sleep, our reading/storytelling would began.
    One of our favorites was the BFG! Yep, the sort of scary big friendly giant. We began to add characters and create our own chapters.
    These boys are now 18 and 22 years old. Thought those days were over until… These young men came and got me one afternoon and off we went to see the movie. Happy proud day for this MiMi.
    Reading/ storytelling with my little guys created memories that I wasn’t even aware were happening.


  3. I’m thankful everyday for the gift of the ability to read and the joy I get from reading! My house would not feel like a home without my books, magazines, how-to manuals that help me use modern technological devices, articles and blogs online that keep me thinking about everything, and novels that provide mystery and intrigue and take me away to far-away places and times!

    Thank you for your blog, Ron!


    1. As a child, I was surrounded by books. My parents read to me when I was younger, but when I asked questions about things, they would encourage me to read about it. I enjoy reading for learning about current issues and things that occurred in the past. My passion is mysteries that allow me to escape and experience places as if I was physically there. I am grateful for the ability to read and escape this crazy world and I am grateful to my parents and numerous educators, like you Ron, that encouraged me to be a lifelong reader.


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