Quite Thought Full
To read is to enjoy life a bit
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 21:09
A book is a wonderful thing. Most would agree with that statement. A book opens doors to faraway lands, ridiculous love stories, and the understanding of every subject known to man. Books are one source of entertainment, whether in paperback, hard cover, audiotape or eBook form, that are never going to fade out of style.
Every man, woman and child could love reading once they found the right book. There are simply too many not to have one out there that a person can enjoy. Those who say they don’t love reading simply have yet to find the right book for them. Whether your book is a memoir of a favorite athlete, a guide on the stock market, a supernatural mystery or the most romantic love story ever imagined, one book is all that it takes to understand the enjoyment of reading.
Yet, some dare to say that reading is stupid, useless and other obscene things including daring to call it a male cow’s feces.
Clearly, they have not read the right book yet.
Dan Wilbur, a comedian, author and blogger posted last week a slideshow and story titled, “10 Books That Taught Me Reading is Bulls**t.” Of the books he lists, most of them would be recognized as classics, from Don Quixote to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. While the majority of society may not recognize these books and their subjects as life-changing items, they have withstood the changes of time far better than other sources of medium, entertainment and educational tools.
The VCR, Atari and the slate board, to name a few, are entertainment forms that have come and gone. Unlike these outdated items, the book has learned to adapt. Although some of us will always hope to live in a house filled with shelves of books, technology doesn’t require us to carry around the physical pages and binds of a book. The shelves are now virtual, the books can be acquired instantly and the demand for eReaders grows every day.
And yet people still try to argue that reading books is, you know, not good.
One argument against books, specifically the classics of the Western Canon, or the greater known items of literature, music and art, is that they are no longer relevant to the busy lives of today’s modern society and they are difficult to read. Wilbur discussed Ulysses by James Joyce and called it “practically unreadable” and took the “cake for badness.”
I will be the first bibliophile to admit that Ulysses is the most difficult book I have ever read. It took me three months to read it and even with the lack of punctuation and the made-up words, it was still an incredible book and worth the time.
The most ironic bit of Wilbur’s distressing piece on the unpleasant act of reading is that he has published a book. The book is titled, How Not to Read: Harnessing the Power of a Literature-Free Life because, according to Wilbur, “Life isn't about sitting around reading!”
Life most certainly is not about sitting around reading. Life is not about sitting around doing anything, really. But reading adds quality to life. Whether it is attaining knowledge and acting upon or with that knowledge, reading for the simple act of being able to carry on an intelligent conversation about the book with another person, or simply reading for pleasure, reading is an act not to be hated upon with such vengeance.
Everyone has a book. Try turning a few pages.
Katie Walsh is a senior English and philosophy major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.