Reading is bad for your health

In my 23 short years on this planet, I have happened upon two people who think it’s cool not to read. Okay… not “cool not to read” but they’ve pridefully told me they don’t read — they’re not ashamed of that fact at all. I, on the other hand, am disgusted. It’s one thing to not like to read; it’s another to just flat out not read.

The first person looked at my budding collection of cool coffee table books (Places and Spaces I’ve Been and ALL GONE) and said “I don’t read. Reading is a luxury.” I had a crush on him… until that point. He ruined everything for me with that sentiment.

The second person picked up a book I was reading at the time Beating the Street, and asked me what it’s about. I told him it was an informational book on how to invest in the stock market. He criticized the length of the book (300 pages, are you kidding me?) and said to me how he doesn’t read books, but it sounds interesting. Here’s the kicker: he then asked me to teach him everything I learn in the book after I read it!

You want me to read this relatively short book that you’re interested in and then teach you the information that I learn from it because you “don’t read books”? I told him what I get from the book might get lost in translation. His response: if you teach me how to make $1M the $100K I miss out on won’t matter. I reminded him that his ancestors literally died so he can read. And here is information that’s going to help lead him to financial freedom and he doesn’t want to read it because it’s in a book. He said that’s correct. He only reads articles. I have sent him articles before that he wouldn’t read because of the length, maybe 1500 words.

It just didn’t make any sense to me. Given the setting we were in at the time, I couldn’t tell him: Do you know there’s a running joke among our counterparts saying if you want to hide something from a black person put it in a book?

I was so upset that this person I considered cool was being so uncompromising on such a universally important value that I had to wait a day to vent to my friend. She thought I was being judgmental until I explained to her this was his third time telling me he doesn’t read books and that he actually wanted to know what was in the book but wouldn’t read it because it’s a book and that he considered 300 pages a lot. It’s really NOT. Seriously, take a speed-reading class and get over yourself.

You don’t have to like reading books to see it’s worth the commitment. I go through phases where Ive happened to not read a book in a while but only because nothing interests me at that time, but I would never open my mouth to say “I don’t read books.”

The moral of the story is READ A BOOK, you’ll learn something.