Literacy Across Harlem

Keep Calm and Read BooksImage is from an expired Etsy Listing. If you know the source, please let me know! Similar to these

Today I learned of something unique that happens in Harlem on the 1st of every month that I wanted to share. Total Equity Now created this literacy initiative to promote reading throughout the area.

Total Equity Now (TEN) is declaring September 1st, (2012) and the first of every month thereafter, “Literacy Across Harlem Day.” TEN asks all Harlemites, east to west, to carry reading materials outside of their bags the first day of each month as a simple yet powerful expression of their individual and collective identities as readers, writers, thinkers, and community members.

Harlemites are heirs to a rich literary legacy anchored by a long line of ingenious writers and voracious readers. However, glance at the hands of Harlem passers by on the average street and you will see mostly smart phones, designer bags and school bags, beverages, small children, and occasionally a combination of those items and more. Even avid readers’ books, magazines, newspapers, and e-readers are usually tucked away at the bottom of a bag or left at home. TEN envisions a day when all community members—children, senior citizens, and everyone in between—live literacy as an integral aspect of Harlem public life, as “Harlem” as great food and world-class entertainment…..

To stay abreast of important Literacy Across Harlem Day updates and events, Harlemites are encouraged to “like” and “follow”

I firmly believe that reading is a lost art form. Even those people who claim to read are really just skimming through the pages of a magazine or their e-reader.

Now, if you are a reader, and you read on a Kindle, the founder notes that you can grab a free newspaper and carry it in your hand to support the movement. AND you can obviously participate if you live/work outside of the Harlem area too.

What are you reading? (I’m reading Happy Belly Book by Nadya Andreeva)

Do you read on an e-reader or paper books?

How do you feel about audio books?


  1. Nellie says:

    I am an old school reader. I LOVE my books, I am most comfortable in the library a block away from my job and have literally lost track of time in there…I don’t own a kindle in absolute protest but in an emergency I have downloaded books onto my tablet…in case I’m jonesing for a book. Goodness just talking about it makes me want to go grab my current read!

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    • Ooo girlie, I didn’t know this about you! Fill me in on what you’re reading. 🙂

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  2. What an awesome idea! I just finished The Goldfinch and now I’m reading A Sport and a Pastime. I do use my kindle a lot, but I’ve been reading actual books for everything I read for book club. I forgot how much I enjoy having a physical book!

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    • It does feel different, right? I feel more “in the mood” to read when I have an actual book in my hands.

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  3. What a great movement! I’m currently reading The Book Thief. I used to read a lot paperbacks but now I download e-books to my iPhone so I can always have my book with me. I like audio books too! I used to listen to audio books in my car when I had a long commute.

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    • I use the Kindle app for the iPad, but occassionally I use a paperback too. BUT I want to get into audio books. I was listening to a podcast about how to consume more content for inspiration and they suggested listening to books at a faster speed… some people can read 3+ books a week that way!

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  4. This is great! Im currently reading “Start” by Jon Acuff

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