Where Have All The Readers Gone?
My name is Greg and I love books. I love the feeling of reading that first page and getting pulled into an alternate universe. I love when an author permanently changes the way I view the world.
I realize that this post is on a platform that appeals to the bookish crowd. Most of you share my love of books. I have found in troubling that recently, I have been hearing people publicly say, “I don’t read” or “I hate reading/books” and own that shit like a badge of honor.
Technology is making it easier and easier to navigate through the world without reading as words get replaced more and more with audio and video. Being a writer is starting to feel like how it must’ve felt to be a painter when cameras were invented. I am really starting to ask myself if my grandkids will be literate. Will they even need to be?
Will words even be necessary or will we just be sharing some neuronal impulses that elicit emotions to one another at that point?
I really hope people are still reading 100 years from now. Reading has so many benefits that we take for granted. When you read a good piece of fiction your imagination is working overtime. When you watch a movie you just sit there and accept the visual stimuli being given to you.
When you are reading, a good author will describe a character to a certain extent but you have to become the casting director and in charge of special effects when creating the movie in your head.
Have you ever read a book and then gone and seen the movie? It is always horrible, right? That is because the casting choices never match the image in your head. That poor director is trying to develop a world that took 400+ to create in two hours. When you read the book, you used your imagination and your brain took exception to some director butchering the movie you had made in you head.
Besides imagination reading really strengthens your vocabulary. You can always tell when someone reads because they have a command of the English language that really stands out.
There is a satisfaction that comes with crafting the perfect sentence. This is only possible if you have a full arsenal of words at your disposal.
That comes from reading.
My fellow book lover, I want you to think back to the last time you read a book so good that you were sad when it ended. I remember reading a book by Zadie Smith called On Beauty where the characters were so well crafted, I wondered how they were doing and if they were okay a week after I finished the book!
Think back to that feeling when you knew you had class/work early the next morning but you couldn’t put that book down and go to sleep.
Remember that time it seemed like a book was feeding some hungry, malnourished segment of your soul? It might be time to for that again.
I know life has gotten more hectic and it is so much easier just to watch one of your DVR’d shows, but I would like to remind you of the world that awaits you inside of a book. Resist the temptation to get the audio version or an abridged kindle version. Sit with a physical book and allow yourself to get lost in the words.
You will thank me.