Do you remember your first book?

MiWay Insurance is encouraging literacy in SA

16 July 2019 - 12:53
Do you remember your first book?
Do you remember your first book?
Image: Supplied/MiWay

If everyone read a book a day for 73 years, we would have read 26,645 books in our lifetime. 

Of course, it’s not exactly possible, but reading regularly is the only way we learn and grow.

We may live in a digital age, but many will still recall the early days of computing when the pundits said that books would become obsolete. However, what these prophets should have considered is that the first book printed with movable type, the Gutenberg Bible, was published in 1455 and books are still being published today. This longevity will never be matched by computer programmes that change constantly, are “improved” and then abandoned.

Books are magical and add something to our lives, a characteristic that is embodied in fantasy writer George R.R. Martin’s famous quote: 

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

It is right then that we pause and take a moment or two to celebrate the marvellous fiction and facts contained within books. While we pause, we can also wonder at the world records that printed words and books have created. They include:

  • The three most-read books in the world are the Bible, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, and the Harry Potter series;
  • The most expensive book ever purchased was sold for $30.8m. It was the Codex Leicester by Leonardo Da Vinci;
  • There are more than 129m books in existence. Ironically, this fact was recorded by Google. It said there were 129,860,880 books in circulation in 2010. It’s anybody’s guess what that number has grown to today;
  • The author who penned the longest sentence in the world is Victor Hugo, who wrote the sentence of 823 words in Les Misérables; and
  • Bibliomania is the word that describes the fanatical hoarding of books to the point that it damages social relations or health. Just an enthusiast? Then bibliophilia is your word.

All fascinating, but the reality is that globally an estimated one in five adults are still illiterate. The highest incidences of illiteracy are found in South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Illiteracy is a problem that shouldn’t exist and is one of the reasons why MiWay Insurance has dedicated itself to encouraging literacy in SA. They do this by upgrading library facilities and providing books to one of the schools the company supports, to ensure that learners have a great space to immerse themselves in great books.

Read a book in the comfort of your home and inspire those around you to do the same. 

And while you’re relaxing on the sofa ... make sure that is an item that is covered under your home insurance policy

This article was paid for by MiWay.