you ever run across the word aliterate? Not alliterate,
with two l’s, but aliterate, with one. In its own way it
bears a relationship to illiterate similar to the one amoral
has with immoral. (There’s also a noun meaning “an aliterate
it seems, is on the increase, particularly in English-speaking countries
since the 1980s. Some blame computers (especially the Internet), others
movies and television. In America, despite the widespread popularity of
book clubs there, only 6% of those who do read belong to such a club.
struck by the phenomenon myself whenever I enter someone’s house where
few or no books are to be seen. Sometimes there are more remote
controllers than books. Not that this often happens to me, because all
the people I know love to read, but occasionally it does and I get a
shock. It’s happened in reverse, too: someone comes to my place for the
first time and I hear, “Heck (etc.), you’ve got a lot of books! Have you
read all of them?”
of aliterate school children have shown that there are three distinct
types: “dormant, uncommitted, and unmotivated”.
readers, on the other hand, are motivated, committed and, though a bit
physically drowsy some afternoons, not mentally asleep.
propose two toasts today — one to you for your continuing literate
support, and the other to all those teachers out there coping with their
frustrating task of trying to persuade reluctant non-readers.