Literacy heroes 文坛英雄
Vocabulary: literature 文学
Are you a bookworm? Is your head permanently stuck in a book? If so, that's a good thing. There are many benefits to reading. Getting into a good novel improves our literacy. But who or what encourages us to pick up a book and start reading?
Of course, when we are young, our parents and teachers inspire us by introducing us to characters that we love - or love to hate. And there are the authors – the people who invent and write about these characters. Good writing can really capture our imagination.
As a child, I loved books written by Roald Dahl, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits. These fictional stories were funny, twisted and slightly sinister. These books are popular with children even today, despite competition from contemporary authors.
One modern-day children's author is J.K. Rowling, who's known for her books about the wizard, Harry Potter. Last year she was named as a 'literacy hero' for her part in improving people's love of reading. The UK's National Literacy Trust awarded her the title for "turning a generation of children into readers."
The Trust also honoured schoolchildren, a librarian and teachers for their effort in trying to get people to read. The actor, Henry Winkler, who has dyslexia, was also named for the books he has written about a boy with learning difficulties.
Reading books is more than an enjoyable pastime; it can also help people in difficult circumstances. The author Pat Winslow worked as a writer in prisons and found reading and discussing stories helped prisoners reflect on their patterns of behaviour. She says "Very often we would have discussions about the moral compass of a character, what was the motivation of somebody, why did they behave that way?"
Today I like to read factual books such as biographies, where you get an insight into the lives of important and well-known people. I also enjoy looking at travel books and learning about journeys and new destinations. It's a good substitute if you can't visit in person.
But the main benefit of reading is the improvement it brings to our literacy. The more we do it, the better we get and who knows - one day you may become the next Tolstoy, Jackie Collins or even William Shakespeare. Who are your favourite authors – and which are your favourite books?