Why Everyone Should Read

A shocking number of people don’t read often, or *gasp* at all. To me, that is bananas. As you may know, I run a book review blog—hint, you’re on it right now—where I try my best to post one book review every week, so thinking about people not reading one book in an entire year is just too much for me to handle. Yet, it happens everyday…err…year. To rectify this, I’ve made a short list of why everyone should read. Don’t misunderstand me, there are infinite reasons why everyone should read, but I wanted to keep it short for those of you who are just dunking your toes into the reading paddling pool.

1) Because 16% of people in the world can’t.

That equates to roughly 775 million people who can’t read. Being born in a country where you can not only read, but have access to books FOR FREE (thanks to public libraries) is a huge blessing. It would be pretty rude of you to not take advantage of that. It would be like if someone made you a triple layer chocolate birthday cake and you refused to eat it because you were too busy watching “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” or “Ice Road Truckers”. Unappreciative, that’s what you are.

1A) Gender Equality

Women account for two-thirds of those who can’t read, so if you are a feminist and you don’t read, you are on a whole new level of unappreciative. That would be like if someone made you a quadruple layer chocolate cake, but you had the entire last season of “The Walking Dead” taped on your DVR, so you let it sit on your counter for way too long and it went bad before you got around to eating it. Despicable.

2) Levar Burton didn’t make 21 seasons of “Reading Rainbow” for nothing.

Sure, “Reading Rainbow” was all about children’s books, but that theme song made people feel things. Good things.

Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high

Take a look, it’s in a book – Reading Rainbow.

I can go anywhere!

Friends to know and ways to grow – Reading Rainbow. 

I can be anything!

Take a look, it’s in a book – Reading Rainbow.

3) You can do it anywhere

Unlike most hobbies, reading requires very little preparation. You literally just need light and a book. (Unless you read using one of those fancy, new fangled Kindles or Nooks. In which case, you will potentially need an internet connection, an outlet, and a charger. That sounds like a real hassle, doesn’t it? You should probably just stick to reading paper books. Glad we cleared that up.)

So, you showed up thirty minutes early to a party because of your fear of being late, but you don’t want your friends to think you’re crazy? Sit in your car and read!

Drats, your friend is running late for coffee, so you are sitting in the coffee shop all alone like a huge loser and you can tell that everyone around you is simultaneously making fun of you and feeling bad for how losery you are? Pull out your book! You’ll look busy (so no creeps try to hit on you or sit at your table) and smart.

See the pattern?

You can read in a doctor’s office, in the grocery store line, at awkward family gatherings, during commercial breaks of “Masterchef”, while riding the bus/cab/train/subway/plane/hot air balloon, during your sixth cousin’s wedding, etc. You get the point. And if people think your incessant reading is rude, then you can tell them that you are reading in honor of the 16% of the world population that can’t read, and that should shut them right up.

4) Books will always be there for you

Have you ever been stood up by a date? Has your friend ever cancelled plans the last minute, leaving you alone with nothing to do on a Friday night? Have you ever been dumped or rejected by a potential partner or friend?

Then I have five words for you: Books will never say no.

Unless, of course, the question is, “Books, will you ever leave me?” In that case, the book would have to say, “no,” since, you know, books won’t ever leave you.

Revision: Books will never leave you

That’s better

I think I’ve made my point, but, in case you missed it, the takeaway here is that books are better than people, and you spend all day with people, so you should make at least a little time for books.

Happy Reading,