Ronnell B. Townsend


To the editor:

Reading books and newspapers is a dying pastime in this country. Everyone seems to read the computer and Nooks, a pun on books.

I read my first children’s book when I was 4, Augusta Stevenson’s “Abe Lincoln, Frontier Boy,” published by Bobbs-Merrill in 1932. I am now 66, with eyesight problems, but still read the print media and write handwritten letters.

Illiteracy has nothing to do with IQ. It simply means you can’t read and write. There are now college grads who can do neither. This is very sad. Just the simple tasks as reading a menu or instruction are hard because a person can’t understand plain English.

I have two college degrees and worked on a third. My grades weren’t stellar, but I really learned how to parse the English language. I dub myself the oxymoron “a successful failure” because I never excelled in anything, but I learned reading and writing. Anyone can speak and understand their native language fluently by listening. What makes them stand out are reading and writing. Once you have speaking, reading and writing down pat, you’ll never be a failure.