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Hunter Huss IB Readings

Is there any value in reading? I will admit that I am and always have loved reading. I am already compiling my lists and reserving books at the library for Christmas break. I always am in the middle of several books at a time and usually cannot wait to get home from work to pick up where I left off reading the day before. I think reading is not only a path to knowledge and understanding, it is the ONLY sure path to either. I also understand I am old, stupid, lame, and mean so I must not know what I am talking about. As the great philosopher Deven Smirz pointed out, “I don’t read.” And, as the great theologian A.J. Denicola once stated “the reason I quit going to Sunday School is that they tried to make me read the Bible.”

Does reading really matter? What does it mean for a person when they do not read? Does playing Angry Birds help provide clues to understanding life? Does tweeting whenever you go to the bathroom count as writing for you and reading for all of your “friends” who read it? Are we in danger of losing something as a society when we don’t read? Why, in the past and today, are some governments so afraid of books that they ban some of them?

For this week, I have a novel assignment. Try to actually read the following links (I know, as I said I am old and lame and mean and torturing you with reading is actually pleasurable to me) and see if you can help me figure out what the problem with reading is. This is NOT just a generation Z or whatever you guys are called thing, reading has been on the decline for a long time in the USA. Does the fact that reading is declining threaten the very existence of our democracy and way of life? Are movies, TV shows, video games, facebook, etc just as valid a way to share and gain knowledge as reading (and I don’t mean just in reading those horrible, smelly, heavy things made out of cardboard and paper that we call books, but also electronic texts). Is it an attention span thing? Is it “I love to read but I hate to read books assigned to me” (obviously by old, lame, mean and stupid people). How many of you read the Bible? The US Constitution? The Grapes of Wrath (which is so beautiful in some parts it should take your breath away and so sad in the others it should make you stop and wipe away a tear),The Communist Manifesto? The back of a cereal box? Those who stand to gain from your ignorance are hoping and praying that you are not reading, and they are only too happy to provide you with lots of shallow diversions on your TV, computer, or phone screen to make sure you are not. As someone even older and lamer said

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”
 – Confucius

or someone also lame and dead said:

“The ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”
 – Autobiography of Malcolm X, 1964

Anyway, without further torture (because, after all, you had to read until here – hope your eyes are not hurting yet), does reading even matter? If it does, why are we (and I mean humans in general), not reading?

http://www.persistenceunlimited.com/2007/12/the-26-major-advantages-to-reading-more-books-and-why-3-in-4-people-are-being-shut-out-of-success/

and another to – oh the horror of it all – READ:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2007/jun/07/doesreadingmatteryoubetit

 

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