The Wastelands of Literacy: Don’t Trash Those Books!

Literacy, Reading, Education, Writing, Self-Improvement

Image Credit: Linnaea Mallette

Throughout the month of September, a celebratory spotlight is put on literacy. September is Adult Literacy Month, Read A New Book Month, and Be Kind To Writers And Editors Month.

In this day and time, it is unfathomable to imagine that illiteracy still remains a serious and troubling topic of discussion. Literacy, the ability to read, write and the level of competency and knowledge in a specific area is a prized attribute in building a strong foundation of educational, cultural and creative heritage.

It is not popular to allow ignorance to become the accepted norm, although at times when we reflect on the current state of our society, sadly that seems to be the case. That does not mean, however, this educational quagmire cannot be fixed. We have every tool you can possibly imagine to thwart the dangers of ignorance when it runs amuck.

As Maya Angelou once told an audience of aspiring writers, “In order to be a good writer, you have to be a copious reader.” In our tech-savvy society, we can’t even allow ‘aliteracy’ to take root and contribute to the ills of illiteracy.



Is Cursive Writing Becoming a Foreign Entity?

Bill of Rights, Handwriting, Cursive Writing

Image Source: Mental Floss

I heard someone giving an interview on TV the other day discussing the subject surrounding basic common things we were required to do in the past. In a world where artificial technology invades our daily lives more and more, it may be tragic that without certain survival skills our upcoming generations may be left handicapped when they need it the most. For one thing, verbal communication is literally stifled because everywhere, everyone is texting, replacing normal verbal exchange. Are we losing our inborn natural ability to have fluid, normal conversations like it once was?

Cursive Handwriting, Signature

Image Credit: Karen Arnold

Secondly, is there a curse on cursive writing? This particular interviewee noted that his daughter responded when asked to read the Bill of Rights, that she couldn’t read it because it was written in some foreign language. Yes, this teen is a U. S. born citizen and yes it is the same image of the Bill of Rights we’ve come to know. Since schools are not teaching cursive writing anymore, the digital, new wave of communication does not put emphasis on the importance of handwriting (printing maybe, but not cursive writing). What do we do?

We used to use the term, “Put your John Hancock here” and people understood what we meant (to sign your signature on a designated line). Nowadays many people ask who is John Hancock? They don’t think there is a need for a ‘signature’ because everything is done through advanced technology without requiring an actual handwritten signature.

I think without learning the basics about the art of handwriting, (and this is not just about those who are illiterate or functionally illiterate) in the long run, there may come a time when technology will not be readily available to translate for you. OMG…perish the thought! Is cursive writing becoming a modern form of written morse code? :-/

What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

Reading, Books, Summer Reading

After reading “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, I realized that such a storyline depicted in his science-fiction short story could very well become a reality if we are not careful. Based on the premise that books are illegal and firemen are sent out to ‘set’ fires to burn books versus putting them out simply because you own and read books, seems outrageous. I highly recommend reading this book although it was originally published in 1953, it still remains relevant.

As farfetched as something like this sounds in reality, but not as impossible as one might think, perhaps take a look and observe how many people are entranced by their smartphones versus those you see who maybe actually reading a book, a Nook or Kindle. My summer reading list actually began in January and ends in December. But as I go through my collection of books on my shelves that have gone unread and instead collected dust and a few cobwebs throughout the years, I have brushed the dust off of these volumes and grabbed my bookmarks. I’m taking some serious year-round vacations from the comfort of my home.

If you don’t want to buy a book then by all means, hit your local library and check one or two or three out. What’s on your summer reading list?

Summer Reading is a Fundamental Vacation

Reading, Summer Reading, Books

What a way to take a vacation anytime and anywhere, than by being transported in time through a book? This inexpensive trip through bound published pages can take you to faraway lands without ever having to leave the comfort of your home, board an airplane, train, ship or hit the road in your car or on your motorcycle.

Even if you do travel by vehicle, take along a few books with you to make your trips even more adventurous. Audiobooks will work too. What books are on your summer reading list? How many books have you read, cover to cover so far this year? Have you set up a reading goal for 2018?

If you are connected to, they have a section to set up an accountability goal for the number of books you want to read for the year. You don’t have to disclose what books you want to read in your goal, you just need to commit to reading a certain number of books for the year. It’s still not too late to set your book reading goal. Enjoy your adventures!

An Awakening Moment from A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle, Books

Image Source:

From the book “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, one of the characters, The Medium who resides in a cave, was asked to look through her crystal ball at the home planet (Earth) where the children Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin were from. At this request, The Medium became very sad because she did not want to look at something so unpleasant.

Earth? Really? Unpleasant? I suppose I can understand why. If you never read the book, I suggest that you do. The twists, turns, and spiritual elements reflected in the book, clearly define those occurrences we experience in some form or fashion. The response from Mrs. Which, one of the central characters who spoke with a stutter, followed the comment made by The Medium with this: “There will no longer be so many pleasant things to look at if responsible people do not do something about the unpleasant ones.”

Point well taken Mrs. Which! I think that one response resonates profoundly in the world as we currently see it. Point well taken indeed.

Get your Shelfie on for the Magic of Storytelling Campaign

Magic of Storytelling, Shelfie, First Book, Disney

Image Credit:

Only 20 days left to post your “Shelfie” for the Magic of Storytelling campaign y’all. What is a shelfie? A shelfie is a selfie holding your favorite book or taken in front of a bookshelf. Upload it and share with your friends and followers on social media using the hashtag #MagicOfStorytelling on Twitter or Instagram. Encourage others to share their love of books by sharing their shelfie.

Magic of Storytelling, Disney, First Book

Image Credit: WISN 12 News

Now here’s the deal. For each shelfie posted on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MagicOfStorytelling, Disney will donate 1 book to First Book. Disney partnered with First Book to provide new books to help kids read, learn and succeed. This is your opportunity to join the Magic of Storytelling campaign, as Disney will donate up to 1 million books across all Magic Of Storytelling promotions to children in need through First Book.

Be sure to include the following tags in your social media posts:

@FirstBook (Twitter), @FirstBookOrg (Instagram)

For more information on other ways you can get involved in the Magic of Storytelling campaign, click here. Chop, chop and get to it if you haven’t already. Books are ready and children are waiting!

Hot Reading Fun in the Summertime

Summer reading, books

There are still a couple of hardcopy magazines that I subscribe to and O The Oprah Magazine is one of them. While the digital versions are good, I have to admit at times I am still old school and love the idea and feel of flipping through a hard copy magazine or a good book. Each month O The Oprah Magazine features a section dedicated to recommended good reads and new releases. I love combing through those lists to see what books may pique my interest. This month there is a great section dedicated to What A Book Can Do that offers some excellent suggested reads.

Summer reading is an adventurous and educational leisure pursuit. During these scorching hot summer months, it’s time to grab some of your favorite books, retreat to your favorite nesting spot and read to your heart’s content. A book can transport you to a different world and transform the way you absorb, and explore the world of words.

So, what are you reading this summer?