Anyone who knows me knows that reading comprises a huge portion of my life. From the youngest age I can remember, I have read pretty much anything and everything I could get my hands on. Sometimes this got me into trouble, and I almost always spent my entire allowance on books. It is no surprise that, as an adult, books fill many corners of my home, and much of my time is spent reading and reviewing books. It is not something I get paid to do, it is simply something I do because I love books so much.
I cannot imagine a life that does not include reading. Between books and social media, I spend a large portion of my day reading. Heck, we even turn the subtitles/closed captioning on when we watch tv and movies at home. It is an odd quirk that started when I lived at home and my dad was working midnight shift. I would turn the captions on so that I could turn the volume down and not disturb him while he slept. It became a habit, one which Hubby has since picked up, and we now have subtitles/captions on whenever the option is available. My point is, I spend a significant amount of time reading. It is something that I take for granted.
It is hard for me to put myself in the shoes of someone who has problems with literacy. Yet millions of Americans are functionally illiterate. Stop and think about what your life would be like if you could not read. It would affect your ability to work, to drive or navigate your surroundings, to interact with others. Think of all the activities you do each day that are based on your ability to read and write. Now think of what you would do if none of those activities were possible for you because you were illiterate. It is no surprise that illiteracy is closely tied with poverty and incarceration.
There are wonderful organizations out there to help people improve their literacy skills. One such organization is the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. They offer all kinds of programs to help people with varying degrees of literacy issues, and offer fantastic volunteer opportunities to people who would like to help.
So, today, I am taking time to give thanks that I am a literate adult. I am thankful for the ways reading has enriched my life and shaped me as a person.