Guess who taught me to read—my mother. When I was seven, education experts said I would never read. My mother didn’t blame them. She blamed herself and went to work to fix the problem. She told me she came home from that meeting and cried. Then she got out the coat hanger.
No matter how much I complained, I learned to read at home. Today, many American parents don’t spend enough time with their children.
In America, many kids don’t like to read. To get the students I taught to read for half-an-hour a day was like pulling teeth with oily fingers. Instead, they watch television or spend hours on the Internet or hang out with friends after school.
The largest bookstore in Shanghai, China, is several stories tall with elevators and escalators. You have to wait in line to reach another floor. The bookstores I visit in Shanghai when I’m there are always crowded. On the other hand, in the United States bookstores are going out of business as if a book plague struck. In China, new ones are opening all the time.