“When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.”
This quote has been attributed to 16th Century Dutch Humanist Erasmus, best known for “In Praise of Folly,” which—fun fact—was dedicated to his buddy Sir. Thomas Moore.
Not that I’m an Erasmus scholar. But it’s a popular quote among obsessive book lovers like, well, me. You may have encountered it printed on merchandizing-friendly stuff like mugs and t-shirts or floating at the edges of book-related websites. The quote even has its own Facebook page. It seems a little hyperbolic, but who am I to say? I have not been faced with having to choose which basic necessities to purchase, though too many Americans, tragically, have.
- Early exposure to reading reduces the risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and delinquency.
- Reading aloud to children promotes bonding and attachment.
- On average, children who grow up in homes that have 20 books complete two more years of education than do those who grow up in homes without books.
- The two most significant predictors of academic success are being read to as a child and having books in the home.
- Reading aloud to children stimulates brain development.
- Reading aloud to children is the most important preventer of low literacy.
- 61 percent of low-income families lack age-appropriate books in their home.
On a related note, I know of at least two book drives in my part of Connecticut. I’d love to know about more.
The UJA/Federation of Westport-Weston-Wilton-Norwalk, Books2Connect, and the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to collect and distribute books to children and families in need. The book drive runs through Dec. 12, with a number of conveniently located drop-off locations around town. Also requesting book donations this month is Barnes and Noble of Westport, to benefit First Book Fairfield County.
I’m just saying.
A version of this story originally appeared on www.hamlethub.com/Westport.