An open letter to those who ‘do not read books’
The act of being an adult is difficult. Most of us are taking our first steps into adulthood and figuring out how to adult. But this doesn’t supply an excuse to avoid reading. I cannot think of many excuses to not read — I actually cannot think of any. Once one understands the importance of reading, it is impossible for one to stop reading. Thus the only excuse for not having a book in one’s hand, on one’s laptop screen or in one’s bag, is ignorance.
Imagine our world without books. Nothing would have been documented, nothing at all. We would have no knowledge of the creation of America, the Civil War, the industrial revolution, World War |, other countries, other cultures, and history as a whole would disappear as if it never even happened.
Without written documentation we would currently be relying on word of mouth to figure out who came before us and what happened to them. Stories would be passed down from family to family, just like those old folk tales you learned about in English class. The information would become scrambled, the important details lost and history would disappear with the death of a family. The stories that made it to us would be unreliable like a story told from a centuries old telephone game.
Not only would history disappear, but people would. You, for example, would only be remembered by photographs and word of mouth. “I don’t want to read” or “I don’t like to read” are not excuses anymore, they are statements that reveal ignorance to all that books contain.
In our current world, technology is everywhere. We’re constantly connected to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr every day. According to a New York Times article by James B. Stewart, Facebook confirmed that the average amount of time its users spend on the platform each day is 50 minutes. I’ll tell you a secret: your phone has access to things other than social media — such as books. Scrolling through Facebook for 50 minutes each day? Scroll through a novel instead. Checking Instagram while waiting on the bus? Read a few poems or flash fiction.
Even back in the day, the excuse “I don’t have access to books” wasn’t valid because there was always the public library. Today, we carry around tiny computers in our pockets with access to digital books 24/7.
Do you want to know more about your major? Do you want to become better at what you do? Read a book about it. You can find hundreds of books concerning your major on your phone. You have access to every book ever published right at your fingertips about every topic of history, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, everything.
You are carrying around all the knowledge in the world in your pocket. You are attending a college that has a library where you can check out books for free. You are living in a city with 34 public libraries. There’s no excuse not to — go read a book.