A wondrous gift is our ability to read. It is one of the many ways we can intake new ideas and facts, all to enlighten our existence.
And today is a special day for literacy. The twin salvos descend on us with both Family Literacy Day and #fridayreads happening on this auspicious day. These are great reasons alone to celebrate the written word, but they are reinforced by many other daily reminders of the excitement of reading.
Which all converge in my mind in order to promote reading in all its myriad forms, since as a society and as a planet, eliminating illiteracy and helping new thoughts take form is of vital importance. Where will the next Shakespeare, Dickens, King, or Rowling come from without the gestation of new works brought on by seeds long ago planted? The lineage of greatness can be traced back through these various writers by what came before them. They read, then they created.
So to commemorate reading, Family Literacy Day is today. The annual event was created in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada in order to get more children interested in the joys of reading. Sit down, get comfy, and read with the little ones. It’s that simple. It really is. And they will thank you for this wonderful experience when they get older. And they will thank you even more when they write their first book. Fifteen minutes a day is all this requires.
The next way to promote and live the written word is even easier. Friday Reads is a legendary hashtag on twitter which is growing and growing and growing. Started in 2009 by Bethane Patrick, she and her staff, count between 7,000 to 9,000 tweets every friday as readers type a simple line. “My #fridayreads is On Writing by Stephen King.” Just remember insert your own reading instead of what I wrote! You can then include a comment, mention the characters, or even say where you are reading it. Whatever you want. And it can be a book, magazine, newspaper, or audio book. You still reading last week’s friday reads? So what! All everyone cares about is you reading. One of my friday reads lasted a month, and it was a book recommended by two friends as their friday reads. As stated before, the process here is so simple. Read. Share. Repeat. This is their mantra. Pretty good, eh?
Maybe you need a good book in order to stimulate your synapses. You can head on over to the Goodreads website. I only discovered this amazing place recently and love it. Think of it as facebook for book lovers. You can create a page, make friends, write reviews, read reviews, and seen tons and tons of books you might enjoy. Prepare to spend quite abit of time browsing this site and creating a comprehensive wish list. Much fun!
Another great place to find more exciting literature are the many and prolific book bloggers that inhabit the internet. I have been extremely fortunate to have met most of these great people back in November when Blog Ontario hosted a meet-up and I am proud to be among their ranks. These are just some of sites which can provide various suggestions for all types of books. Try one of the following to help find your next friday reads:
It’s really simple, read a review or two or three (which counts as reading) and something just might peak your interest.
If you decide you want to read a story online, try another exciting site that just popped onto my radar. Wattpad features up and coming writers providing short stories to wet your appetite for imagination. And everything is mobile ready and waiting for you. For comic fans (like me), Clockwork Comics is running multiple weekly strips for the past few months. All nice and simple ways to get some thoughts a stirring.
All along I was saving the best for last. You want to indulge your reading and inspire the next generation? Talk a walk down the street to your local library. So simple even I could do this. Rows upon rows upon rows of stories and facts and fantasies. Trust me. Just go inside and find something. My library is beautiful with books. And I love it. Find a new volume and give it a hug. You just said hi to your new friend.
That is what every new book becomes, a cherished friend. So between Family Literacy Day, friday reads, book bloggers galore, and your local library, today is the perfect time to expand your circles. It is so simple. Just Read.
P.S. Friday Reads logo is copyright 2012 Friday Reads.