Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ready to Read: Ready for the World

"He that loves reading has everything within his reach."
William Godwin, English novelist, philosopher and writer(1756 - 1836)

I am a bit of a bibliophile (although I find myself not reading much of late) and thought to at least make mention of a few recently published history and political economy books on Trinidad and Tobago. The presence of these books here is essentially for informational purposes and do not reflect any endorsement on the part of the author of this blog.
- Clicking on a book cover image will take you to its Amazon listing.

History of Tobago by H.I. Woodcock (2007)

Trinidad and Tobago: Ethnic Conflict, Inequality and Public Sector Governance by Ralph Premdas (2007)

La Magdalena: The Story of Tobago 1498-1898 by David Phillips (2004)

Politics in a Half Made Society: Trinidad and Tobago 1925-2001 by Kirk Meighoo (2004)

The Mechanics of Independence: Patterns of Political and Economic Transformation in Trinidad and Tobago by A.N.R. Robinson and Dennis Pantin (2002)

I have always wondered whether we are a nation big on reading, whether there are any or many book clubs etc. dotting the country. My suspicion is though, that we are all so busy trying to improve ourselves in other ways or just otherwise caught up in so much other more ‘necessary’ activities, that we generally see reading as a luxury of time which relatively few of us seem able to afford.

In the absence of conducting any surveys or having statistics from NALIS (National Library and Information System Authority of Trinidad and Tobago) on library loan circulation or book sale figures from the major local bookstores, I at least decided to check the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Human Development Report 2006 for Adult Literacy in Trinidad and Tobago.

Under the heading Adult Literacy Rate (% ages 15 and older)
Trinidad and Tobago is ranked at number 57 out of 177 countries (Norway is at number 1 and Niger completes the list).

Countries in the region that came out ahead of us included:

Barbados (31)

Costa Rica (48)

Cuba (50)

St. Kitts and Nevis (51)

Bahamas (52)

Mexico (53)

The ranking of regional countries coming after us included:

Antigua and Barbuda (59)

Dominica (68)

St. Lucia (71)

Venezuela (72)

Grenada (85)

St. Vincenet and the Grenadines (88)

Suriname (89)

Dominican Republic (94)

Guyana (103)

Jamaica (104)

If you are interested in finding out anymore about literacy in Trinidad and Tobago, or you think you might know of someone in need of bringing his/her literacy up to a considered acceptable level, or you wish to become a volunteer reading tutor, then ALTA (Adult Literacy Tutors Association of Trinidad and Tobago) is one organistion that you might think of visiting.

Read on my people!

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