The reading experience is enhanced by getting to know the author personally as well as details about the book and its inspiration that are not usually known. The author benefits from the reader’s feedback as well. Sci-Fi author Sam Bledsoe says, “We consider our writing to be a collaboration, a shared experience, between author and reader that makes it more gratifying for both.”
Why is it important to develop good reading skills and master a broad vocabulary? Consider these statistics from www.readtennessee.org:
- Studies show that when undereducated parents are given books for their children, they are four times more likely to read to their toddlers and preschoolers. (Promoting Literacy, American Journal of Disease of Children, 1991)
- There are currently 26 million children living in poverty in the United States. (www.firstbook.org)
- By the time they enter first grade, children from low-income families have been exposed to an average of only 25 hours of one-on-one time compared to an average of 1,000 to 1,700 hours for children from middle-class families. (Adams, 1990)
- Among adults with the lowest level of literacy proficiency, 43% live in poverty. Among adults with strong literacy skills, only 4% live in poverty. (www.firstbook.org)
- For every year parents read with their child, average lifetime earnings increase by $50,000. A parent makes a $250,000 gift to their child from birth to age five just by reading to them daily. (www.readingfoundation.org)
Tennessee enjoys a proud literary tradition that includes famous authors such as Tennessee Williams, Cormac McCarthy, and James Agee. And our state has many creative and gifted authors who, like any artist, work hard at their craft to bring creative and unique works to their readers. Therefore, part of our mission is to introduce the citizens of Tennessee to these wonderful artists of the written word.