International Literacy Day, is normally observed on September 8. It focuses its attention on the growing need for literacy and also the lack thereof. Over 700 million adults and over 100 million school aged children the needed skills, mostly due to the denial of any access to education.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”
While the rest of this article will focus on the lighter side of reading, IE; tablets, readers, etc. there is no “light” side to being illiterate. It is not a measure of your intelligence. It is a measure of the opportunities given to you. As with every adult, we are each given different ways, opportunities to learn. We excel in one subject while struggling in another. Not to coin a phrase, but “reading is fundamental”, and should be taught as a basic skill for all people, not just the wealthy in the wealthiest country, but EVERYONE.
Some sites that celebrate the holiday and promote the much needed literacy are;
- United Nations
Throughout the day, we all read. It may be a street sign directing us, a menu with our favorite dish, etc. There are those that struggle with this. Those people may just have an issue deciphering left from right, but what if it is a more serious set of words, like either choosing to take the medicine Durasal which is a type of Salicylic acid for skin disorders and Durezol which is an optical medication. As you can see, literacy is not just for reading comics, but maybe for life.
While many readers like the old fashioned style of reading, pages, print and bindings are so 1999. Being 2012, there are quite a few ways to read, while embracing technology. They include cross platform apps, multi-use tablets and devices that function as readers only.
Familiar apps include;
- Kobo Reader
Multi-use tablets include;
- iPad (and mini)
- Kindle Fire HD
- Android Tablets
Readers and Readers only
Your choice, especially in a physical device, depends on what more (if any) you want out of your app or device. If you want an all-around great reading experience without the desire for additional apps, You should check out the Kobo eReader Touch edition which was reviewed here.
A step up, incorporates eReader and Android tablet qualities. This comes in two choices; the Kobo Vox or the NextBook line of readers/tablets.
As for tablet style devices incorporating android OS and an embedded app, the Kindle Fire and the entire Kindle line is something you should check out.
As for a tablet format with both computing power and multitude of eReading apps, the choice is between two powerhouses.
· The iPad
· The Acer Line of Android tablets
Neither of them come bundled with reading apps, accept the iPad does come with “newsstand” which has a small library that claims to be growing. This is an easy remedy though. Do your research and pick the app that suits you best. You can download all of the above apps, as they each have quite an offering of free eBooks for you to read, test the app and or get the feel of the device. Once you get the feel for the best one for you, stick with it and buy, buy, buy.
For a last ditch side bar, both Mac OSx Mountain Lion and Windows 8 have Kindle apps available for their respective machines. In looking at the Windows store, and Mac App store however, it does appear that “Kindle” has cornered the market, as the other aforementioned apps are not apparently available in either store.
So take heed, find your perfect reader from this list, and pick up a good eBook to read. Celebrate the day that it is. Be sure and check out your own public library, as many, if not most lend eBooks.