You would think reading a book is simple. You pick it up, turn to the first page, start at the upper left hand corner and read from left to right, top to bottom. Long, long ago, Greek scholars tested many different methods of reading and writing words on tablets. Based on their experiments, they decided that reading and writing left to right and top to bottom was easiest. So that’s what they did.
This method has been the norm for the majority of us, but did you know that people have been reading in a variety of different and unique ways for thousands of years?
Both Arabic and Hebrew are read and written from right to left. Many East Asian languages, such as Chinese and Japanese, can be read and written from right to left, as well as vertically — from top to bottom.
Times are changing, though. Today, it’s becoming more and more common for these languages to be written horizontally (side to side) from left to right. This is because of the increasing influence of English, as well as the common use of computerized word processing systems that don’t support right-to-left formatting.
One place children may encounter a right-to-left form of writing is in comic books. Japanese comics — called “manga” — often use vertical text. These comics also often have frames and pages that flow right to left.
No matter how you read, if it’s left to right or top to bottom, reading glasses are worn the same way all over the world. Temples connect to the frames that sit off the bridge of your nose and allow your eyes to read through the lenses.
Browse the Optx 20/20 online store for the hottest, most fashionable styles of readers so all of us can continue to enjoy reading in any type of direction we desire!