Literacy can lead to bookishness

canadian blog awards

Winner GLBT category

When I worked in a second hand bookshop-so easily pictured, if you don’t work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming gentleman browse eternally among calf bound folios-the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people-Bookshop Memories-George Orwell-taken from Books and Cigarettes-Great Ideas collection(57) from Penguin Books.

Orwell’s essay was published in 1936.

I ran a used bookshop from 2005 to 2013,

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and,

most of what he wrote in that essay,

was still pertinent,

and,

true.

I miss my bookshop,

not everyday,

as used to be the case,

While I went through,

the weaning and grieving process,

the searching for what,

‘to do next’

period.

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I miss the bookish people,

the chance to talk books,

to discuss issues,

to add more bookish people,

to the realm of my acquaintanceship,

I even miss some of the freaks,

🙂

I miss the smell,

the quiet,

the beauty of the shelves,

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and,

piles and boxes of books,

I miss the constancy,

and,

the surprise as well.

I do miss it,

and,

as with all past,

things,

eras,

that were important,

life altering,

I have begun to look,

upon it,

with nostalgia.

In my mind,

I am sure,

it is less dusty,

than it truly was,

it is -more,

than it truly,

was,

and honestly,

I’m fine with that,

I am no historian,

and,

I don’t believe I have,

idealized it,

to the point of revisionism

🙂

What I miss most,

is sharing,

the love and passion,

of a lifetime,

with young and old,

the love of reading.

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Today is international literacy day.

Even if there are few,

truly,

bookish people,

in this world,

as our man George,

states,

the importance of literacy,

cannot be understated,

literacy is fundamental.

Merriam Webster defines literacy,

in this way:

lit·er·a·cy noun \ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē\
: the ability to read and write

: knowledge that relates to a specified subject

to me,

literacy,

means so much more.

On a basic level,

it is the ability to read and write,

yes,

but,

most importantly,

it is the ability to,

understand what we read and write,

it is the building blocks,

of knowledge acquisition,

of communication,

the structure of thought,

once you are literate,

bookish,

even,

you take for granted,

all that this provides for you,

protects you from,

allows.

Being illiterate,

makes your life,

less,

and can put you in,

great danger,

not being able to read,

street signs,

pill bottles,

food labels,

it can make you a victim,

not being able to read,

legal documents,

public notices.

But,

mostly it keeps you,

in a state of ignorance,

not stupidity, that isn’t related to literacy or illiteracy.

Being bookish,

isn’t desirable or important,

for everyone,

being literate is,

it allows you to find,

to understand,

the world,

you-

be it in the pages,

of books,

magazines,

training manuals,

love letters.

Through paper,

or electronic means,

it opens up the future,

illuminates the past.

Being literate doesn’t make you free,

it allows for the possibility,

of,

freedom.

Being illiterate,

keeps you down,

makes you dependent,

on the possible kindness of strangers,

but,

more so,

on the abuse,

of the abusive.

The second greatest gift,

I was given,

in life,

was,

a love of reading,

the first was unconditional love, which is not something everyone, receives, either

which has lead to the search,

for knowledge,

for truth,

my truth,

and I wonder how anyone can find these things,

without literacy.

Let us all be kind to strangers,

when we can,

let us encourage each other to read,

for our health,

our joy,

our knowledge,

and,

at,

it’s most basic,

and,

most dramatic,

our collective survival.

Read a book,

to your child,

nephew,

niece,

volunteer in a literacy program,

a library initiative,

spread the word.

The only kind of proselytism,

I believe in-

learn to read,

read,

teach others to read,

and,

the world will be a better place,

because it all starts,

there.

These are my thoughts on this September 8 TH,

what are yours?

Be well,

all of you.

Later girls,

BB

 

 

 

Published by

Bookish Butch

I am a bookish butch in my very early fifties. I live in Montréal and always have. I used to run a small used bookstore. Reading keeps me sane. My latest jiggie is photography, book project in the works, living the dream

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