I just read some statistics.

Seems children in "middle-income neighborhoods [have] multiple opportunities to observe, use, and purchase books (estimated at about 13 titles per individual child)...."

Thirteen?!?! Kids in middle-income families only have thirteen books apiece?!?!

I find this appalling.


But if you think that's bad....

How about for low-income children?

Would you believe 1 book per 300 kids?

1 book

per 300 kids.

In America.

Not good.

I read about this in the new issue of Costco's magazine. In the same article I read about Seussville. This site is connected to First Book and from either site, if you send an ecard, that's one more book they'll give to some poor kid.

So give books to kids.

And if you don't have anyone else to send a Seussian ecard to, send one to me. My address is on your left.


  1. .



    I guess you don't actually send the cards to anyone; you send them to the Cat.

    I really should learn what the heck I'm talking about before I start posting about things....

  2. WHAT?! I can't even imagine only having 13 books! And I grew up in a middle-income family! I'm pretty sure my sister and I had over 300 books a piece before the third grade. I don't think I could even count how many books I have now. Sad thing is, most of them are in my parents' garage because I don't have room for them here. Someday I will have my own library.

  3. Maybe the poor kids don't buy books for the same reason I don't buy books. Libraries have them already, and you can check them out whenever you want to and they're not checked out already.

  4. This is NOT an economic problem, this is a cultural problem. What do you think the ratio of TVs and video-game systems per low-income child is?
    Used books are dirt cheap, even for people living below the poverty line. Hence, giving books to poor kids is not likely to help, because they won't be read.

  5. .

    Perhaps. Your point is valid, but if it never occurs to a kid to want a book, he will never have a book to read. Give him one book, it lies around, someday he picks it up, discovers he likes reading. Kids need to have opportunities constantly before them or they will never take advantage. They do the things that are offered them every day. That's why libraries don't solve the problem. They need those books right in their rooms.

    I hope you all followed the links.

  6. I agree with you that kids will never learn to love reading if they don't have the opportunity, but it seems to me that there are already many programs to encourage children to read on their own, complete with free books and various incentives (the fabled PizzaHut program was in the news recently because some activists think pizza is an unconscionable incentive in this age of obesity).
    I don't mean to sound horribly depressed and pessimistic, but good intentioned people have been working on this particular problem for a very long time, and success stories (especially amongst low income children) seem the exception rather than the rule. I believe this is due to cultural factors that inhibit children, especially children growing up in less-educated households, from learning to enjoy reading.
    You are of course correct that children need books around in order to learn how to love to read, but I think especially in America, the fundamental problem is not scarcity of books, but a culture that devalues learning.
    And unfortunately, that problem is deeply ingrained and can't be fixed by material means.

  7. .

    Agreed, but it won't hurt to throw books at kids. And for twelve seconds to send a catcard, why not?

    It just might mean something that that starfish.


  8. I sent the cat a card. I couldn't find the link to send the cat a card on the "low bandwidth" site, which is ironic since it basically means only rich people with broadband can afford to send a free card to the Cat.

  9. I just don't buy it. Kids aren't bookless because they're too poor. Kids don't have books because it's not a priority to their parents. You can't tell me that those same families don't own more than 13 movies.

  10. .

    Good point. The ones to blame are the parents.

    I hate parents!!!!!

  11. Having said that, I did actually send a card.