Literacy as a Fallacy

There is a modern notion nowadays about the importance of literacy in the young. It’s like this generation thinks the ability to read is important for the ongoing state of humanity. I can firmly attest that this is not the case.

Here’s a truth bomb for you: knowing how to read is not vital to survival.

That being said, why is there such an obsession about teaching your offspring to read? It’s a waste of time, honestly. Why would you sit there for hours upon hours staring at words on a page that may or may not have pictures when you could spend that valuable time teaching your rugrat common sense, outdoor survival skills, or discovering their mutant abilities?

Reading encourages them to use their imaginations. Reading transports them to a different world. Reading is a lifelong obsession that will only result in incredible debt, an avalanche of tattooed tree carcasses all over their domicile, and hours and hours of wasted time staring at pages. Reading will ruin lives!

There have been movements throughout history to stop the spread of reading. The Library of Alexandria? It was arson. The Protestant Reformation? Combated by the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Book bans and burnings are a regular occurrence to stamp out the plague of written words. Not to mention the entirety of the dark ages.

By teaching your monster how to read, you are undoing centuries of hard work. You are pretty much saying that it is ok to blow off all responsibility and pick up a book. It is ok to blow millions of dollars on books. It is ok to give indie authors hope that their writings will make it to the mainstream.

I am here to tell you that it is NOT alright.

Think before you read,


***Disclaimer***Azra has been around children for centuries. While not having any of his own, part of being an exiled angel means blending in on earth. As he traveled the earth, he picked up on a lot of parenting practices across the globe. This blog is meant to share his parenting wisdom with a new generation. And to win a bet.

*Note: any advice given is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally. Please do not exercise it upon any living being, child or otherwise.*

5 Lessons from my first reading as an author

I’m interrupting Azra’s parental broadcast to address something I am really proud of.

The other day I did something that I’ve never done before. Something that I’ve seen many others do, but that I’ve been terrified to do myself.  I got up in front of people- some I knew and some I didn’t- and I read part of my book out loud.

That’s right. This author did her very first reading and survived.

Writing isn’t really a spectator sport. It’s very much a solitary activity. Putting your words to paper, transcribing your thoughts is intimate, so reading them out loud to an audience is a terrifying prospect.

Doing the reading at our latest book signing was my idea. I thought it would be good for us, educational, if you will. Well, I certainly learned a lot. Here are the top 5 lessons I learned during my first reading.

1.       Practice what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. People can tell if you haven’t practiced.

2.       Give a short intro to the piece you are reading. Let the audience know a bit about what they are listening to. Don’t just jump in.

3.       Be picky about your selections. The scene should draw attention to the story. It should make the audience feel something. I’ve found that humor is a good choice. If you can make people laugh, it helps to know that you are doing a good job, both with the reading and with your writing.

4.       Make sure you can be heard. Triple check your audio connections. Make sure you project your voice really well.

5.       Keep a good attitude. People are more likely to remember how you reacted to mistakes, criticisms, etc rather than those things themselves. If you focus so much on everything that went wrong (and things will go wrong), then it will cast a negative light on the experience not only for you, but for your audience as well.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to readings. I have a lot more to learn and a lot more experience to gather.

Would I do it again? Absolutely.