What is your response when somebody tells you “I don’t read”?
“I call shenanigans.” Everyone likes to read; the question is what someone likes to read. Not everyone is a Serious Literary Fiction kind of person. I respect that. But if you read blogs, you read. If you subscribe to email newsletters, you read. If you only read what Oprah recommends, you read. Even if you only skim articles your friends share on Facebook, you read!
As a book reviewer, I have to keep a certain pace and topic focus in my personal reading. As an English teacher (even if only at heart), I know the struggle of reading books you don’t like when you don’t want to, and I know it from both sides of the classroom. The key is that reading—reading anything—teaches us what it means to be human. It shares experiences, information, and imagination. It’s asynchronous, unlike conversation, and it can last for centuries. There is little that is more important to civilization than life transmitted by way of the written word.
And then I drop the mic.
For more short queries about books and the reading life, visit Booking Through Thursday.