International Literacy Day

Literacy: What exactly does it mean? Do we still have literacy problems in the modern world? Well, on a basic level it means to possess the ability to read and write efficiently. Beyond the basics, it also includes recognition of languages and cultures within the learning process. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization had this to say about International Literacy Day:

“Our world is rich and diverse with about 7,000 living languages. These languages are instruments for communication, engagement in lifelong learning, and participation in society and the world of work. They are also closely linked with distinctive identities, cultures,  worldviews,  and  knowledge  systems.  Embracing  linguistic  diversity in education  and  literacy  development  is  therefore  a  key  part  of  developing  inclusive  societies that  respect “diversity”  and “difference”, upholding human dignity”. Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of the International Literacy Day

Literacy rates have been on the upswing across the globe with some countries reaching a 100% literacy rate. While that is amazing, the United States and others haven’t reached the 100% rate yet. (For more information on literacy rates around the globe click here to go to UNESCO site for actual numbers.) According to UNESCO, there are still 750 million illiterate people around the world with the largest percentage being female. We can each reach out and help someone become confident and self-sufficient within our own communities. This issue can be solved if we work first within our communities and then globally. Take time this week to ponder the blessings of a free education and how you can bless the life of someone struggling to read or write.

“‘Let us pick up our books and our pens,’ I said. ‘They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.’” (Page 310) Malala Yousafzai I Am Malala (Incredible book that changed my perspective and worldview forever.)

Join DiscoverBooks.com in celebrating the accomplishments of this journey towards 100% literacy rates by Reading a Book to a Child, Working with an Adult, or Just Enjoying Your Own Literacy by Reading a Book on World Issues.

Enter coupon code ILD2019 to save 15% off all books purchased now through Sept. 22nd.

Tribute to J.R.R Tolkien

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” -The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien

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J.R.R. Tolkien chose to spend his time enlightening the imaginations of millions of readers throughout the world. He created worlds of his own and left part of himself on this earth contained within his stories.

Yesterday marked the 46th anniversary of the death of this creative soul. His life experiences and beliefs are captured in print forever. All we need to do is open our minds to the worlds he shaped to help us better understand how to live in this world.

Library of Congress

Tolkien’s book(s) beckon us to move forward against all adversity, trials, and self-doubt. The journey is before us every day and we can rise to the challenge of it and face it with courage. #Letthestoriesliveon

Tolkien’s life represents this concept. His life was marked with adversity from a young age. First, when his father died and left the family with no income. His mother, brother, and self moved in with his mother’s family in Birmingham England. His mother taught him at home which allowed him to explore subjects he loved such as botany, nature, languages, and fairy-tales. He loved to read George MacDonald and Andrew Lang (wikipedia) Second, when at twelve years of age, his dear mother passed.

During World War I, he was a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He had already married Edith Bratt by this time. The separation was long and hard as it was for many during that time. Life was a journey and he was facing it head on.

Wikipedia

September 21, 1937 marks the publication day of his first novel The Hobbit. It is here, we begin the matter of fact journey into mythical creatures and beings not yet imagined. The world was suffering from the great depression, the Hindenburg disaster, and the dust bowl not to mention Hitler was setting the stage for Germany’s world domination campaign. The campaign against the Jewish people was just beginning as Tolkien introduced his imaginary world with Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves to mention a few. #Letthesstoriesliveon

Library of Congress

Join us on a quest to remember and honor this creative mind by reading either again or for the first time one of his fantasy novels. Perhaps, you haven’t read his commentary on Beowulf and would enjoy it. Try a book about Tolkien or his worlds. Find them all at Discover Books. Use Coupon Code Tolkien2019 at checkout for a 15% discount on all books. Good until 9/8/2019.