Videos are posted of diverse voices responding to this question. I posed this question to my RDG practicum students. There was a moment of pause before anyone answered. Their response was as diverse as those on the LitWorld site. What stands out for me is the word "most" which indicates that there is a comparison to something else. Most. I am reminded of the stories about the enslaved who understood the power of reading and writing to the point of risking their lives to master the skill. Hmmm, perhaps "power" is what I would miss most. Sure, there are some people who are functionally illiterate and many students have shared stories about parents and others who could not read nor write. The significance in these shared stories is the tellers were college students who had been charged to "do better" than that. A father who made his children read and discuss newspaper articles with him understood that power. This nonreader was an auditory learner and listened to the news. He expected them to do more than listen. Are expectations lower now? Do we need the power that literacy brings? Has technology minimized the need for that power?
"What would I miss most if I could not read or write?"
This month (and each month) read to a child or adult. Give someone a book and a reason to read it, you read too. Discuss the book beginning with the cover and make textual connections: Text to text, text to self and text to world. Talk about the images, ask open-ended questions that might lead to those Aha moments. Think power.