Sounds like the subject line of a spam e-mail, but I’m going with it. And I promise to say nothing of Viagra (get your free sample here).
Anyway, as a special “thank you for reading” gift, I have decided to make a PDF copy of my horror anthology Dwight L. MacPherson’s Basement of Horror available to YOU, dear reader, absolutely free. But only for seven days.
If you do not download the book within that time… You. Will. Die.
Well, not really, but the link will cease to exist. So, in a sense, the link will die, right? (Work with me.)
Warning: This book contains disturbing imagery. Recommended for adult viewers.
America: Land of the Free, Home of the… Illiterate?
I read a disturbing bit of information on the Mental_floss blog today. Check this out:
• One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
• 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
• 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
• 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
• 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
I don’t know about you, but I find these numbers staggering. Looking at them makes me irritable and downright furious.
It would be easy for parents to blame educators, our culture, or the entertainment industry. But the real blame lies directly–and wholly–upon us: the parents.
Listen up, parents! The chances of your children becoming habitual readers is greatly increased if introduced (yes, you reading to them) in infancy, rewarded in youth, and strongly encouraged throughout early adulthood. So get off the internet, put down the video game controls, step away from your 3-D TVs and your busy little lives and pay attention! You are failing your children.
But you have the power. Make reading a priority in your home. And let them see you reading, too! Set the example. Limit video game, television and internet time (for them AND you). Create a “Reading Time” in your home where reading–and only reading–is the acceptable activity. Make it rewarding for younger readers (i.e. read a book and get a new one, an ice cream cone per book, etc). There’s nothing wrong with a little positive reinforcement–unless it’s your 15-year-old who expects an ice cream cone in exchange for reading a book. (My 15-year-old just read this and said “Dad, I don’t expect an ice cream cone!” I responded “Exactly.”)
Oh, and if your children are already teens, that’s no reason not to try. Buy your son or daughter a new book for their birthday or Christmas. Meet up regularly at a bookstore or library. Try. You may be surprised with the results.
As you can see, I could post a long diatribe on this subject (I may already have). Literacy is a topic that I feel extremely passionate about. And I’m even more passionate about a parent’s (oftentimes neglected) role in literacy.
I need to get back to work, so I’ll say so long for now. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy Basement of Horror!