Today, April 12 is Drop Everything and Read Day, or D.E.A.R Day.
I heard about it on local radio this morning, but it doesn’t seem to be an international event. It appears National D.E.A.R Day is commemorated annually in the USA to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis, a family priority. It’s celebrated on 12 April each year to honour American author Beverly Cleary who wrote many books for children and young adults.
Setting aside a day for encouragement of reading is a marvelous idea, and should be celebrated internationally. The statistics for literacy in South Africa is appalling and I’d venture to assert that the figures for the rest of Africa is not much better, probably worse. So any initiative to improve these statistics should be seized upon and disseminated widely. Sadly the government in South Africa seem set on a path to diminish the standards of education further and further each year and need constant reminding about their inanity.
However, the rest of the world should consider themselves lucky to not be governed by dodgy miscreants; so grab yourselves a book and get stuck into a few chapters. But for the love of literacy, please let it not be the Bible or the Koran or the Bagavad Gita or any other religious text. Please read something that imparts at least some intellectual enlightenment, not useless dogma.
Now that I’ve done my bit for R.E.A.D Day, I’m off to complete the last few chapters of The Form of Things by A.C Grayling…