Tuesday, November 4, 2014
What’s Your Book Expectancy?
When you look at life expectancy charts, a child born today in Japan or Iceland has the best chance to live the longest life: 83 years. Surprisingly, the United States ranks fifth, behind UK and Chile, at 79 years. We’re ahead of China (75), India (66), South Africa (56), and Sierra Leone (45), among others. It’s hard to believe that where you are born can dictate your lifespan so dramatically. I wonder if where you’re raised in the United States – and how close you are to a bookstore – dictates how smart you’ll be.
I don’t know that any data exists to support such a study, but I’d venture to say that towns with more bookstores are towns that are more literate and more efficient. If learning and intelligence go hand in hand with books, then stupidity and ignorance are married to areas lacking books.
If you want to stomp out illiteracy, lack of participatory democracy, and poverty, open up more bookstores! Sure, you need better schools, economic opportunity, job training, and many changes to come about, but I think bookstores can be the solution. They can act as community centers, where knowledge is shared and people can come to discover the world in their hands.