In many countries, a book or a set of books, like a trilogy, become so important for the nation that it is regarded as a work that defines the nation. Often, a folklore or a compilation of sagas written into a book form can become such a book. Works from the 20th century or even more recent books can also be important for a nation, although it takes time to tell if a book becomes a classic and culturally important work.
Global English Editing has collected iconic books sets from 150 countries across the world that describe the culture and history of the nations. It must have been a lot of work to identify the masterpieces for each country, so once you have viewed the infographic, take a look at individual book descriptions as well.
For many countries, choosing a classic has been a perfect choice, but in some cases, choosing a recent best-seller to represent a country may raise eyebrows in the literature circles of the country.
For instance, Leo Tolstoi’s War and Peace, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice are choices most people will agree with. But how about Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as the iconic book for Sweden?
In any case, it is wonderful to see such a large selection of good reading from around the world. Read all of these books and become a person who understands much more about the world. The Most Iconic Books Set infographic by courtesy of: Global English Editing.
For more than 40 years, John W. Miller at Central Connecticut State University has analyzed the reasons and consequences for literacy and illiteracy from the society’s point of view. When he decided to analyze all the countries of the world, the result was a ranking for the World’s Most Literate Nations. Nordic countries top the list.
Top 10 literate countries in the world are:
7. United States
The research didn’t measure the usual yardstick – percentage how many citizens in each country are literate, but literate behaviors and supporting resources in each country. The criteria for the analysis were:
– Number of libraries and their book selection.
– Number of newspapers, their circulation and online availability.
– Education system resources.
– Education system results, especially concerning literacy.
– Number of computers at homes (not tablets or smartphones, but only computers).
Miller intended to analyze data on 200 countries, but was able to collect reliable data from 61 countries. He concludes the importance of literary culture: “The factors we examine present a complex and nuanced portrait of a nation’s cultural vitality. And what the rankings strongly suggest and world literacy demonstrates is that these kinds of literate behaviors are critical to the success of individuals and nations in the knowledge-based economies that define our global future.”
It is quite remarkable how European countries, especially Northern European nations, hold top positions in the ranking for the most literate nations.
The report World’s Most Literate Nations by Connecticut State University is available here.