Many people will never get to that stage. Those who are functionally illiterate can’t read for practical reasons. Emails, payslips, train timetables, road signs, letters: these basic aspects of adulthood appear to them like hieroglyphics. They can’t even read to their own children. But there is another tragedy: they can’t read for pleasure. From the greatest works of literature to the subtitles of magnificent foreign films, their life is culturally impoverished.