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Room to Read
30-08-2009, 03:40 PM
- Imagine a world in which every child can read
- Envision a world where every child has access to books
- Picture a world where all children realize their full potential!

World Change Starts With Educated Children

Join us....
for lunch to meet John Wood, Founder of Room to Read, a Time Magazine Asian Hero, and author of "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World".

Monday, Oct. 5, 2009
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Sutton Place Hotel
Tickets: $60.00 ($500-table for 10)
Reservations: [email protected]; 780-481-6308

Room to Read, www.roomtoread.org, is an international nonprofit organization working in countries with the highest illiteracy rates in the world: Nepal, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zambia and Bangladesh.

Room to Read promotes literacy in these countries by:

*establishing libraries
*providing scholarships to enable girls to attend school
*publishing children's books in the local languages of the countries
*helping building schools

Since its inception in 2000, Room to Read has established more than 7000 libraries* ; 760 schools, 327 new local language children's titles* and has more than 7000 girls sponsored through its Education Program.

*Our goal is to establish 11,000 libraries by 2010!

I hope you will be able to attend our luncheon. If you know of others who might be interested in attending the event, please forward the invitation on to them.

Thanks, and I hope to see you on October 5th!

Pat Nelson

Co-Leader, Edmonton Chapter , Room to Read

Sophia Karel
30-08-2009, 04:06 PM
You're not going to appreciate this, it being a charitable mission and all that you're on. But I just have to turn this to a rant. As a life-long reader I have to say - the rabid proliferation of books over the past 40 years has done nothing whatsoever to improve us. There is just so much half-baked, poorly thought-out trash in print, that I honestly wonder if (saving working life) illiteracy might not be a better state for most people. Outside of the classics, I can't find books worth reading in libraries (though it's just the thing if I need to check my facebook account in a facebook emergency).

Personally I always get annoyed when people think that reading has some absolute value. It's like 'freedom' to the Americans, to which Burke would say -

I love a manly, moral, regulated liberty as well as anyone; but I cannot stand forward and give praise or blame to anything which relates to human actions and human concerns, on a simple view of the subject, as it stands stripped of every relation, in all the nakedness and solitude of metaphysical abstraction.

To the agents of the global reading syndicate I would ask - what is the last good book you read; and I would expect a damn fine answer.

Komrade
31-08-2009, 11:30 AM
To the agents of the global reading syndicate I would ask - what is the last good book you read; and I would expect a damn fine answer.
Hmmm.

Absolutely true diary of a part time indian
Twilight
Oryx and Crake

Just in the pass month or so. All solid reads. Sure there is some junk out there (tradepaperbacks -> romance ect ect) but to be completely ignorant and say 'reading isn't worth it anymore' well its completely ignorant.

Tiran
31-08-2009, 12:33 PM
/\ It is also short sighted.
Sophia seems to be focused on fiction/literature. But the value of literacy is the transmission of information without the presence of the other person. Yes there is a lot of fiction out there that is crap, but there is a lot of television, music and cinema or theatre that is pure shite. At least by learning to read, even if you normally only read comics or romance novels or even internet forums, you have a useful skill that can be applied in many situations.
I think reading does have a value. In fact I consider it to have a fundamental value. Because I can read I am not dependent on a single source of information, or what a talking head on a screen says. I can read the source material or alternate views. (Can does not always mean will, btw.) If I do not know how to do something I can always read how to do it.
And good book is pretty subjective. I am an escapist reader. I read reports and write for work, so when I read in my off time it is for my pleasure. In fact I often intentionally avoid anything that will force me to think too much. Is much of what I read “great literature”? No. But I have tried reading a lot of “great literature” and it is boring as hell. I have read lots of good books. But from the sounds of your post you would not agree, since they aren’t classics.

MJ
31-08-2009, 02:13 PM
Outside of the classics, I can't find books worth reading in libraries (though it's just the thing if I need to check my facebook account in a facebook emergency).

I remember trying to use that excuse with my mom when I was about 12 years old. I hated fiction. She was never happy I didn't pick up "her hobby" of reading fiction for fun.

But while that excuse may have made sense to a 12 year old, I'm amazed that I'm seeing such an excuse in what should be an adult conversation. Since you can find no books of value to you I suppose I can come to you with questions in every degree program on the planet? You are not only an expert of the arts, but business, science, monkey mating, you name it?

Proposing a population of illiterates as a valid solution to poor literature, fiction or not, is a scary proposition. Do you also feel against people reading the newspaper?

And since somehow you feel our last book read is relevant, I'll bite.
The Big M: The Frank Mahovlich Story -- probably read it maybe 7 years ago. Even books within my favourite subject areas get neglected though I read loads of up to date hockey news online.

Top_Dawg
01-09-2009, 11:10 AM
As a life-long reader I have to say - the rabid proliferation of books over the past 40 years has done nothing whatsoever to improve us. There is just so much half-baked, poorly thought-out trash in print, that I honestly wonder if (saving working life) illiteracy might not be a better state for most people.


Top_Dawg realizes that you are on a rant and being irrational is often a part of that.

But honestly Soapy.

This isn't the stupidest thing Top_Dawg has ever read on C2E, but it makes the top five.

Sophia Karel
01-09-2009, 06:59 PM
Well, to the universally gloomy reaction, I am gloomy right back at you. I think this is a basic difference in perception. You all are not alive to basic differences of character and activity from say a half century ago. Most things in print are lazy and sentimental like most things to eat are fatty. Reading is not automatically and absolutely a good thing, no more than eating is, and it does not make a whit of difference whether half the world is starving, or illiterate.