May is the month of book events, book festivals and a reach out to school children. It is an exciting and important time for readers and writers, new and old.
This year, I’ll play a small role in the Franschoek youth week for the first time ever and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Encouraging children and teenagers to read is the best possible contribution you can make to their education. Despite all our technology, gadgets and apps, reading is still the number one way to improve vocabulary. During my teaching and lecturing years, I made it my mission to encourage reading at every turn. I poured my energy into providing the right books for the right students. If they didn’t want to go to the library, I brought the library to them! When it worked, I felt as if I’d attempted Mt Kilimanjaro and reached the top.
These days, my focus is on the writing part. But guess what…if you don’t read, you can’t write. In fact, if you don’t read, you put ceiling after ceiling above your head. The saddest sentence I ever heard from my students was, “I dont read.” My answer always remained the same, “Let’s find you the right book!”
So my mission continues but I’ve added to it. I dream of bringing local readers and writers together, on a regular basis, through events at book shops, talks at libraries, visits to clubs, schools and more intimate book swop soirees in homes. We need to keep meeting like this.
Let’s celebrate readers and writers all over the world, starting with our own local ones. Let’s start new traditions which promote reading and writing. Let’s encourage the idea of books as presents for special occasions. Imagine declaring an annual day of reading, where everyone is presented with a book and encouraged to cuddle up with it. (Google Iceland’s reading tradition…)
Come and support the fabulous festivals happening all over the country this month. You may just get hooked for life.
Happy reading and writing to you 🙂