We Are All Readers

To say that you hate reading is a pretty stupid thing to say; it’s the same as saying that you do not like watching movies, or listening to music. Of course, you might not like all movies, and it’s all a matter of personal preferences, for some actors or directors, your mood and a bunch of other factors.

That being said, we’re all readers. Yet, some of us have not discovered what they like to read.

A while back I was talking to a friend. He was asking me about my books, the kind of stories I like to write, and he wasn’t as interested as I would have liked him to be. He told me that he never read a single book, which was probably true.

When he told me that, I was thinking how funny it would be to give him Ulysses. Tell him it’s a really fun and easy book.

But I could have given him some action packed, sex obsessed novel. Fast paced. Present tense, third person narrative. Lots of dialogue. Words that you don’t have to look up in the dictionary.

I believe that we are the sum total of our habits. Reading is not a genetic predisposition, but rather a habit.

Even walking is kind of a habit.

We’re all born rather useless, and must be taught to do almost anything.

But people were taught to watch TV for six hours a day, or scroll through Facebook for five. That’s the main cause. That’s what provokes this sort of aversion towards reading. Almost like a social sigma.

But if you were to take someone who never even dared hold a book in their hands and walk them into a bookstore and ask them to think of what they’d like to read, they could come up with a few ideas. Never having read a single book, they could tell you whether they’d like to read thrillers or drama, maybe suspense. A love story. Or maybe a historical novel.

Maybe they’re into conspiracy theories, erotic novels, or science fiction.

Because, believe it or not, books are a reflection of life itself. And we all have our own ideas of what life is all about, what is important in life.

There are so many books in existence that there’s bound to be one that’s about the thing you enjoy most out of life. Something to enhance your own ideas, or even challenge them.

We’re all readers. Yet some of us got lost on our way to the book store. Years and years ago.

11 thoughts on “We Are All Readers

  1. While I agree with everything you wrote in this post, I find it easy to agree because of a Eurocentric background. I currently live and teach in Indonesia which has an oral storytelling and information sharing culture, one which logically supports the “wisdom of the elders” mantra. My students, internet inhabitants all, are changing this view of reading but it is a generational change that is required. The generation before them, their parents (my generation) did not and do not read. Your first sentence (“stupid thing to say”) would generate a lot of resentment among my students. They might even agree with you but you may have offended their sense of parental loyalty.
    I point this out because I have recommended your blog to three of my better students, ones who like to read and also have had positive things to say about irevuo. Up to now.
    As you alluded to in a recent post, “the power of words.”


  2. I had plenty of students who told me they had never read a book until my English class in high school. I got many students into reading by reading novels aloud. Even seniors aren’t too old to be read to. In fact, they love it, and it just might turn some of them into readers. This is a very thoughtful post. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

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