Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In Defense of Reading


Neil GaimanI realize that I'm preaching to the choir about this, but Neil Gaiman says it so eloquently, so persuasively I couldn't help myself from sharing.  If you haven't seen his article: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming, please check it out.  

Here's one of my favorite quotes from the article:

"And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy. When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You're being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you're going to be slightly changed.

Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals."
And another:
"Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different."

Read on my friends!  And share this with any and everyone you know.  

2 comments:

Meredith said...

Thank you for telling us about this article. I loved it.

Sometimes people ask me how I read as much as I do or why I read as much as I do. I usually answer, "I would rather read than do house work." But what the article said is so true. By reading you get to have someone else's view point for a brief moment, and that in turn helps you be a better person. As well, being able to imagine things that don't exist yet and dream of how it can be made a possibility. It is amazing.

Thanks again. It gave a lot of food for thought.

Jillian said...

I am in love with the first thing he said, thank you for sharing this!

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