Why Read?

Reading is an essential part of a full life, it serves to feed the mind, and spark the imagination. It allows us to experience other people’s point of view, exposes us to new ideas, and reinforces our grasp of language. Books allow a sense of scale that is nearly impossible in other media. An example of this is the Lord of the Rings movies’ extended editions, which are considered by most to be far too long, yet they were forced to omit much of the material from the books.

Of the types of modern media, only books and video games are capable of presenting a long narrative that is not broken in to an episodic format. I feel that the two styles are complementary, since while video games offer some degree of interactivity and input on the events of the story, the visuals are presented to you, and the narrative tends to be less focused since the writers must present the player with options. Books on the other hand provide the author with the opportunity to create a more focused narrative, directing the plot in the direction that they feel will make the best story. Books also have much greater control over what is brought into the foreground for the reader, allowing a level of detail that is hard to accomplish in other formats. Finally while reading the reader’s imagines the characters and the scenes, something that tends to create a more immersive experience, and that causes the reader to identify more with the characters.

To not read is to miss out on an experience unlike any other form of media. It may take more effort, but the calm leisurely pace is unique and refreshing in the modern world, and the imaginings it can provoke are unparalleled.


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