Okay, so I’m a day late but as the saying goes: “Better late than never!”

For someone who professes to love books so much I feel pretty ashamed that I never knew that International Literacy Day is on September 8-until today that is. I was, as usual, stalking the aisles of Fully Booked when I came across a new display table piled with books of a couple of authors, namely: Margaret Atwood (one of my favorites), Amy Tan, Toni Morrison, Banana Yoshimoto, and Paul Auster. I asked the staff and they told me that these writers, among a few others, formed the Writers for Literacy Initiative and are helping UNESCO raise literacy awareness

Here are some of my favorite titles of some of these writers:

I decided to get The Tent by Margaret Atwood, which is, a compilation of essays and poems that encapsulate life-professional and personal-in general. I’d love to tell you more about the book, but since I haven’t read it yet, that will have to be for a future entry. I had no reservations getting this one though because Margaret Atwood, is, as The Economist so aptly puts it, “…a scintillating wordsmith.”

More than just these authors’ books though, that display made me realize how lucky I am that I can actually read. I tried to imagine life without books; living even just a single day without having the ability to dive into the pages of a great novel and surface into another world. I felt chills run down my spine, and my eyes literally watered.

Illiteracy is rampant everywhere. According to UNESCO, “Today one in five adults is still not literate and about wo-thirds of them are women while 67.4 million children are out of school.” I Googled the literacy rate of the Philippines and checked out how we were listed in the U.S. Department of State’s website and was proud of what I saw: “The Philippines has one of the highest literacy rates in the developing world. About 93% of the population 10 years of age and older are literate.” For a country that is considered third world with an alarming poverty index, we sure know how to value our education. I swell with pride at that!

Apologies as I am about to refer to myself in the third person, but Lucy is PROUD TO BE FILIPINO!!! Hurrah!!!! 🙂

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