Is Reading a Luxury or a Right that Everyone Must Have Access to?

Literacy overall has been completely redefined particularly because of the modernization and globalization, however existent are the same problems underdeveloped countries will have to tackle altogether. Those who fail to read may not even understand something such as a smart phone or understand how to use a computer. With the advancement of our species, it is important that we advocate for equal access and opportunities for those unable to have access to the same opportunities as we do.

Reading is a very important skill in many areas of life be it professional or personal. Although statistics from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) and the Lecture Module (MOLEC) weren’t favourable for Mexicans, it demonstrated that 3 out of 4 literacy populations read some material in the last year.

Even though the number reveals a good literacy basis, every year there are less people who truly enjoy reading in Mexico. In the last 5 years the population that read any kind of publication be it a novel, the newspaper or an article on a blog decreased by 10%. With 84.5% of active readers in 2015, today there are 74.8%, a lot of them explaining that the principal reason to not having the time to read (47.9% ) while another group stated disinterest with reading overall (21.7%).

For every person it has been estimated that 3.3 read annually. Simultaneously, the statistics indicate that men are the at the top of the chart with 78.1% of survey respondents. This adds to the dominance of their voices becoming more noticeable than the 71.7% of women who took part in the survey. Evident was that the most common topics for reading were literature books with 42.5%, followed with subjects related to a specific profession like text books and those required during university at 34.1%. At the bottom of the list in terms of least read books were those of self-help and religious ones with 26.6%. What does this say about our population in Mexico and our reading habits be it for leisure or study?

Evidently, the survey highlighted that technological trends included reading digitally. As such it has facilitated the way we live now days, as most readers back in the day especially tended towards reading printed material, something that was physically within the reach of their hands. Literacy overall has been completely redefined particularly because of the modernization and globalization, however existent are the same problems underdeveloped countries will have to tackle altogether. Those who fail to read may not even understand something such as a smart phone or understand how to use a computer. With the advancement of our species, it is important that we advocate for equal access and opportunities for those unable to have access to the same opportunities as we do.

Similarly, respondents of the survey indicated that although we live in a digital age, the feeling of opening a book, the smell of fresh paper and knowledge retrieved from these pages simply cannot be replaced by digital materials.

The survey also highlighted that assistance for selling establishments are rare in Mexico forcing readers to go to magazine and books zones in department stores. As such the libraries are not the first point of contact for a good book but rather magazine and books spots, leaving behind the classic “bibliotheca”. Taking into consideration this data, the population without access to resources or money enough to buy a book is not evident in the statistics.

This makes us question, is reading a luxury or a right that everyone must have access to?

In terms of comprehension, more than three quarters of the survey respondents stated that they comprehend everything or the majority of what they read. In comparison, 21.3% stated that they comprehend half or less than the half of what they read. It is also true that the level of education one has corresponds to the amount of books one may read.

With 64.8% of the population in university studies reading around 1 book in the past few months, elementary school or high school students with little to no education at 36.3% and 24.7%, it makes us wonder if literature reaches most of us, and if it does, does it really have an impact on us the same way?

Interpreting these numbers evident is that not all populations had the ability to read. As easy as literature and literacy are, the ones who have it, this very privilege miss the opportunity to make it worth it.

As a country, Mexico has a long way to go till literature and literacy are available for everyone, everywhere. The key is in making every single piece of literature worth it and teaching that very knowledge to the ones that don’t have the privilege of having it.

Written by:

Ayelén Reyes Meza

About the Author

Ayelén Reyes Meza is a student from Mexico who is committed to making literacy available to everyone. In sharing her knowledge, reading and participating in the dissemination of accurate information, she couldn’t be happier being part of a movement such as Lives For Literacy.

Published by livesforliteracy

A non-profit organization dedicated to eliminated illiteracy, and raising awareness of the beauty of education. Primarily based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Lives for Literacy members come from all regions of the world! We are leaders who have a strong dedication and commitment to changing the world!

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