The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro

I love libraries, particularly old ones. The smell of the books. The card catalogues. The reading rooms. All the knowledge and worlds contained within the covers. And so many libraries are housed in beautiful buildings.

I come from a country with a low literacy rate, and have always appreciated the ability to read. The ability to read and the access to books was, for centuries, restricted to the rich and powerful. I really appreciate that now these things are accessible to so many more people. Reading is a key to so much information.

I learned to read aged 4 and have remained a big reader all my life. I love the fact that each one of us creates our own unique world out of each book. What I picture when I read a book will not be the same as you picture reading the same book.

Reading develops imagination and vocabulary and improves comprehension, spelling and syntax. I am so sorry that reading is falling out of favour as video takes grasp. I still prefer to read rather than watch.

Sadly, I can see how the reduced reading rate manifests in the students I teach. I am more sorry that they have lost out on all the worlds in books than anything else.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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