I Forgot How to Read

Why Burning Books is No Longer Meaningful

As I was devouring “Just Kids” by Patti Smith while sipping on some ginger flavored black tea, I was saddened by the thought that many people will never hold a copy of this book in their hands, and even less will actually read it.
Entranced by the new digital age, most of us avoid eye contact, and avoid books altogether. Like it or not, we do not read enough. Our culture navigates from one social media to another and is immersed in a false reality. People no longer have opinions; all opinions are borrowed from unscholarly blogs. As a result, people just swallow “facts” that are rather very elaborate, fictitious assertions.

The most obvious opportunity we are given to read is at school, yet we take it for granted. We skip to the end, read a few analyses here and there, and are satisfied with the mere gist of the book. We walk away, satisfied or not with our grade, without even giving a second thought about the content of the essay.
In a world where kindness is lacking, we need books more than ever. Books allow us to view things from different perspectives. By putting ourselves in numerous characters’ shoes, we develop empathy because we suffer with another. It is quite a unique experience, different from the exhausting false sense of happiness offered by little screens.
Books expose us to new things; it is the best path to embrace in order to find new ways to solve problems and achieve goals. We can gain experience from other people and avoid making their mistakes.

Also, they allow us to discover ourselves. At this age, most of us are confused about where we are heading. It gives you the chance to experience sensations and moments you haven’t even lived. It’s a great way to travel on a budget.

The little pack of paper that some deem to be useless improves our cognitive and verbal abilities, our imagination, our concentration, and our individuality. All in all, with no intention of boring you any longer, books are a fundamental key to the puzzle that is our life. It helps us figure out each piece, holds our hand as we assemble the puzzle itself and gives us hints as we attempt at comprehending the final image. Pick up a book lad, you won’t regret it! Or you might, but at least you tried.

Image Source: Young Seo (Dani) Yu

Rathuja Sivasubramaniam
Opinions Editor

Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 47 Issue 12 on April 11, 2018

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