If there’s one thing I strongly support and believe in, it’s education for children. More specifically, that every child needs to have access to books.

Books encourage imagination in children (and escapism in adults). Books show you a world you haven’t experienced, real or make belief. It was books that taught me the English language at age 8, when we moved to Canada. Public libraries and reading programs are what turned me into a bibliophile, and this is also the reason, I believe, that I have always had a one-track career mind for publishing.

One of the best things you can do is to do something that also brings changes to other people’s lives. Earlier this year I started to sponsor a child in India. For Rahul’s eighth birthday, I sent him stationery so that he can write his own stories. It made me so happy to hear that he and I share a love of languages, and even though he may not share the same concept of “luxury” as we do, having the ability to explore the world through words is what I want to encourage him to do to develop his interests into something great.

My latest “give-back” endeavour is signing up as a volunteer for The Library Project. I don’t have my specific tasks yet but I cannot imagine anything greater than providing books to children who are less fortunate. I will most likely contribute more in terms of effort over cash – means more to me that way – but I’m sure I will be just as elated as the students when their new little reading corner has been set up.

I’ll keep you all posted.

PS. Have you seen Lisa Bu’s TED talk on how books can open your mind?

Photo: Viens, South of France, 2010.

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