keiraknightlyreading

Here's Keira Knightley reading. Like we care what she's doing.

Hey folks!  Long time no blog!  But enough pleasantries!  May is Get Caught Reading Month and I aim to misbehave.

Let's start with the basics.  Former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), launched the Get Caught Reading campaign in 1999.  "She saw the opportunity to spread the word about the joys of reading through an industry-supported literacy campaign."  (That's a quote from GCR's website.)

Now.  Before I go on, I just want to say that under no circumstances do I disapprove of any literacy campaign.  Getting people to read more and more fluently is extremely important and one of the best humanitarian goals in my opinion.

That being said, I do take issue, slightly, with the implications of something called Get Caught Reading Month.  Calling it that makes it seem like reading is something that one does secretly and doesn't let other people see.  Like reading a book is something that you don't want to let people know you're doing.  Like reading is somehow wrong or bad.  Of course I understand that the intended meaning of the name is that one should read in public.  That one should own one's literary tastes.  It just doesn't seem like it, though.  Or rather, it does, but it simultaneously seems like reading is a clandestine activity.  Like, the fact that there's such a thing as Get Caught Reading Month says to me, "Hey kids!  It's GCR Month, so definitely take that book out of that dank library where you usually hide and get out in the sun where the jocks can see you and be shamed!"  Ambiguity intended.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm over-thinking things, but I'd rather it be called something like, "Give the Knuckle-Dragging Illiterates What For!" month or something.  I guess that's kind of a mouthful.  And maybe a touch on the bitter side.  My point, though, is that it would please me more if the name of the campaign was something a little more self-assured, you know?  I guess I'm just a big fan of owning what you like.  If you hate reading and love lacrosse, that's sad for you, but own it.  If you don't understand team sports but you love books, own it!  If you hate sports AND books but you love, I don't know, video games or something, that's also sad for you, but own it!

ANYwho.  Hey!  I just thought of something else!  Get Caught Reading Month could also imply that you should get caught reading when you were supposed to be doing something else.  That makes a lot of sense, actually.  Unfortunately, that's a much better idea for a kid than it is for an adult.  If a kid got caught reading when they were supposed to be doing math homework, that wouldn't exactly be great, but it would at least be forgivable.  If an adult got caught reading while they were supposed to be working (that's totally never happened to me...) that's not exactly ok.  Unfortunately.  But oh well.  Presumably, an adult with a job doesn't really require a literacy campaign, so that's alright.

I think the essence of what I want to say is that not only do I support Get Caught Reading Month (despite my issues with its wording), but I also don't see any real reason to discourage reading ever.  At any time.  If I could get paid to read, I would.  In a big way.  As long as it was things I liked reading and not boring crap.  You know.

People-reading-books-photography17

Aw yeah. Read them books.

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So, what do you think?