"My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read." - Abraham Lincoln

"Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light." -Vera Nazarian

"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." -Haruki Murakami

"A House without books is like a room without windows."-Horace Mann

Despite the number of educational programmes on reading formation carried out within the Caribbean region by various ministries and institutions, some argue that there is still a lot more work to be done. Reading is critical to authentic human development and therefore one's reading abilities will keep one involved, inspired and informed.

According to Steven Winduo (University of Papua New Guinea), "People who read come out more enlightened and informed about what to say, write, and do in lifeā€¦. Without reading one can remain in permanent ignorance and exhibit resistance to and develop a psychology of rejection of new ideas that can change one's life or society. It is important to make reading a developmental tool in one's life and that society itself can depend on to take it to the next level of its progress. Those who read are those who succeed in writing and in life. Those who have developed the habit of reading are those who will deal with the mysteries of life with more certainty."

It is important, as a region, that we continue to press forward with all the necessary programmes, seminars and workshops that would further enhance one's learning skills. M. C Wright (Exploration of Faith, Culture and Life) affirms, "Leaders are readers and education is empowerment. Understanding and knowledge are keys to the future. If we long to have leaders in the future who are broad in knowledge, adept and ethical, it begins in the home where parents start the journey of empowerment through reading."

Therefore, I encourage parents to read to their children as often as possible. Let them see you reading as this will no doubt stir their desire to read as well. Moreover, when they ask for a book, do not hesitate to buy it for them. It is your responsibility to ensure that your children read and read well. In fact, this is the best investment you can make for them.