I love books. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand. I read in every spare moment and when I don’t have many moments to spare then I read while eating, drying my hair or in bed before falling asleep.
For me, every unopened book provides the possibility of fantasy, adventure, and knowledge, making it impossible to not want to crack open the cover and begin the discovery.
Because of my passion for books and my career as a writer, I have heard statements, over the years, from a variety of people that I find baffling. So I want to take this opportunity to list them from ten to one and finally respond to each.
10. “Shakespeare is overrated.” I once thought this then I learned more and now I know he is underrated.
9. “Do texts and tweets count as reading?” Does walking to the kitchen count as exercise?
8. “I don’t understand the point of reading fiction.” Then you haven’t read the right fiction.
7. “I’ll wait until the movie version comes out.” There is a reason everyone who sees the movie always says the book is better.
6. “Reading books isn’t necessary for what I do or what I want to do.” What career doesn’t benefit from critical thinking, analytical skills and a broadened perspective?
5. “Cliff notes are almost the same as reading the book.” Cliff noting books is like taking short cuts in life, you may get there faster but you’re bound to miss something incredible.
4. “I don’t have time to read a book.” But you do have time to watch T.V., play computer games, and tweet.
3. “I read enough in high school.” I didn’t realize there was a quota on reading.
2. “I can never find a book that interests me.” You’re not looking hard enough.
And the number one statement puzzling, mystifying, and baffling readers everywhere…
1. “I don’t like to read.” Stunned silence.
If you are among those who have uttered, thought, or agreed with one or more of these statements you are probably also an individual who views reading books as merely an uninteresting hobby or pastime.
But in this humble writer’s opinion reading is much more than a hobby, it is integral to connecting us to one another. Fiction, good fiction, makes the reader think, believe, dream, understand, and change.
Admittedly there are many pastimes and hobbies in which I don’t want to participate. For example, I don’t really understand or appreciate the tedium of putting a little white ball into a tiny hole but I am sure there are many golfers who would vehemently argue the finer points. But to you and all the other enthusiast of hobbies not nearly as interesting as reading, I say, “make your own list; this one is mine.”
Causes Sherry Parnell Supports
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International