Category Archives: Supporting literacy

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading

christmas-booksI have, for a long time, done everything I can to give books as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Yes this has bordered on the ridiculous, particularly when giving books to children as yet unable to read. But I firmly believe it is one of the ways to support not only authors and publishers, but also a literate and artistic community. Books are one of my favourite things to give because of the possibilities they hold – the chance that they could spark inspiration in the heart of a loved one. And they are one of my favourite things to receive for the same reason.

So, this seems like as good an opportunity as any to recommend you consider giving books or magazines to people who may be facing tough times this Christmas. Organizations like the Footpath Library will no doubt take your pre-loved items off your hands and deliver them into the hands of folks sleeping rough. It might seem low on the list of things that people need at this time of year, but think about the joy you get from reading and consider sharing it, however you can.

I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas with your family tomorrow. Relax, be merry and share the good times with the people around you.

Just Read


Check out this great fundraiser for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. All you have to do is read books! And donate, or ask your friends to donate. For reading books. This is from the about page at Just Read:

There are so many ways to get involved in fundraising these days. You can grow a moustache. You can give up sugar or booze. You can walk, you can run, you can cycle ridiculous distances. You can. I don’t want to. I like reading.  I’m also a writer and the more people read, the more likely my industry is to survive another year. So I thought I’d start a fundraiser that involves activities you can do in an armchair, in front of the heater with a glass of wine. That’s right: you read, you raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, you make the world an all-round better place.

So, I think you should pop by and take part. But don’t take my word for it, a whole bunch of other people think you should too as evidenced on the website. Literacy is important and it’s important from an early age. You can help with a few dollars and by reading a few books. And you were going to do that anyway, right?

Today in memorable opening paragraphs


I come from a country which was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

One year ago I left my home for school and never returned. I was shot by a Taliban bullet and was flown out of Pakistan unconscious. Some people say I will never return home but I believe firmly in my heart that I will. To be torn from the country that you love is not something to wish on anyone.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Belated congratulations to Malala Yousafzai who won the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Fun fact: I lived in Pakistan for a few months as a child. I am privileged enough to never have had to fight to access education, though. The Malala Fund continues to fight for girls who are not so lucky, marginalised and deprived of voice by society, by the circumstances of their birth. The Fund’s approach consists of three pillars, listed on the website:

WE AMPLIFY the voices of the girls to keep them in the spotlight, inspire girls globally and drive action on girls’ issues by the global community.

WE ADVOCATE at the international, national and local level for policy and system changes that give girls access to a high quality education at a community level.
WE INVEST in community centered scalable solutions that provide quality education with potential for systems level change by empowering local leaders and educators.
Do you think this is important? I do. Join Malala here. Donate here.

Get caught reading

Turns out today is Indigenous Literacy Day. Indigenous Literacy Day aims to raise funds to put books and literacy resources into the hands of school students, mothers, babies and toddlers in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

Indigenous Literacy Day included a celebration at Sydney Opera House, featuring a Great Book Swap with students and guests being invited to bring and swap a much-loved book. I found this at the Indigenous Literacy Foundation website:

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s Executive Director Karen Williams said that she hopes the day will raise over $100,000 to support its projects which include a free book supply program, community publishing (where possible in first language), the Book Buzz early literacy project, as well as field trips to remote schools with authors, musicians and illustrators.

Don’t fret though, you can get involved where-ever you are. Take part in, or organise, a Great Book Swap by swapping a much loved book with friends in exchange for a donation to the Foundation. Or, even easier, just join the Get Caught Reading campaign. Make a donation, upload a pic of yourself and why you like to read. Simple. And you don’t even have to do it today, do it any time at all. I did. Why don’t you?

I read to: relax, learn, believe.

I read to: relax, learn, believe.

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