My Newswithviews Column, Sept. 23 (‘Read! Read More!)

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More and more people are choosing not to read anymore–or at least only to read something if their jobs require it. Besides–who needs to read, man? Like, dude, everything is on the internet!

Read! Read More!

America needs very badly to snap out of its digital stupor. No schiff–our electronic “smart” doodads are making us dumber. Loss of concentration, inability to think straight, inability to distinguish truth from poppycock–these are very serious problems, and if we don’t solve them, we will lose our country. Note I didn’t say “can.” We will lose our country and we will lose all our liberties.

Because ignoramuses don’t even know what liberty is.

‘I Don’t Read’

girl reading book photo – Free Image on Unsplash

*Sigh* “I don’t read” is not music to a writer’s ears, but I hear it a lot.

Spring is here, it’s getting warmer, and it’s just about time I started writing the next book in my Bell Mountain series. But more and more people don’t read.

I don’t understand this. If books were taken away from me, my mind would starve. Enlightenment. Joy. Excitement. Even escape, at least for a little while. Books provide these things. I couldn’t do without them.

And yet… “I don’t read.” Or else, “I only read things that have to do with my work.” Or even, “I just don’t have the time to read.” As if it were some onerous chore.

I once had a job teaching “developmental reading”–or, more simply, how to read better. It’s not hard to learn. All it takes is practice. But these days I wonder how many students, if any, would sign up for my course.

I’ll keep writing because it’s what I do, it’s who I am. But I wish I knew a way to make reading itself more popular. It’s how the past speaks to us–and the future. It’s how wisdom and experience get passed on from one generation to the next. It’s the only way we have to visit places that don’t actually exist, to learn things that are nevertheless real, and true, despite being cloaked in the imagination.

Give it a chance.