|By Anabelle Craig - contributing writer | October 26, 2017|
As you look at this opinion piece; you are reading. You are looking at grammar, spelling, topic and sentence structure and hopefully you will enjoy reading this. I love to read. I spend every free moment with my nose in a book. Every spare bit of change buying new novels to add to my ever growing library. I feel at home surrounded by rows upon rows of comics, literature, history books, biographies, prose and, of course, a good cookbook.
But this wasn’t always the case. When I was younger, I refused to learn. It drove my parents and teachers mad. But I dug my heels in and decided that I could go through life ignoring the written word. That was until that fateful day, when I was about seven and had to use the loo. I saw the sign on the door of the public washroom but I scoffed at it, continuing my way into the stall to do my business. Upon leaving, I commented to my mom that there was a hole in the floor beside the toilet and there was no water in the bowl. My dear mother pointed at the ‘Out of Order’ sign that I had chosen to ignore and made me sound every last syllable out until my face flushed with embarrassment. That day, I decided to learn to read. But reading doesn’t come easily for everyone. Imagine that when you looked at this page all you saw was a bunch of unhelpful squiggles and lines. Many children and even adults have trouble reading. Learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD and auditory processing disorder are the most common reasons why children struggle with this skill. If you know someone that’s having literacy issues, give them a hand. Remember to keep things in perspective, do your research, clarify their goals, and stay positive. Be your child’s strongest advocate, offer them new solutions and just listen to them. If your kid just needs to talk about what they are going through; sit and listen to them talk about what is bothering them. Maybe your child feels like they are all alone with their problems. Tell them what difficulties with learning you had or still have. Just remember to stand by them.
One of my biggest fears is Abibliophobia – the fear of running out of reading material. But not this month! October is National Book Month. A whole month dedicated to reading and the love of literacy. It started in 1950 to celebrate authors, readers and books and is observed by many bookworms across the US and Canada. Their motto is, “Fall into a Good Book”, which as a lover of word plays and all things corny, I find their tag line quite punny.
So, this month visit your local library or bookstore and snuggle up with a good book. Each story transports you to a whole new world full of adventure, places to discover, amazing people and magical animals. And, since words are everywhere, you might as well learn to embrace them. From birthday cards to stop signs, to menus and magazines, to reading your mail or the directions on the frozen lasagna. They may even prevent you from peeing in a broken toilet
Anabelle Craig is a contributing writer for The Highlander.