Here is an actual quote of a high school student from my hometown newspaper (The Daily Breeze) about a book fair: "I'm not really fond of books," she said. "But I want to give it a try." “Give it a try?” When did reading books become a snack you’ve never had?
> Have you had these Flaming Hot Cheetos? >> No. > They’re amazing. Spicy, salty...they write rap songs about them. >> (pause) Sure. I’ll give it a try.”
When did “reading books” become an optional nerd package in the new car purchase of life?! Breathing, eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, sleeping - yeah, THAT car will get you where you need to go...but don’t you want to upgrade to nerd package and read books? Nah. I don’t NEED that..
Like it’s a matter of “taste” to understand a story another human being is telling you by putting your eyeballs onto words written on paper. For god’s sake, a book is just a little stack of papers barely thicker than your iPhone.
Like reading books is a “preference” in life like trying “exotic” ethnic food you didn’t grow up with.
> Panang curry?! Probably’ll give me the runs so I’ll pass no thanks.
Reading books is a huge part of communicating ideas in life. It’s like saying, conversation? I’m not really fond of communicating with other people. But, I’ll give it a try.
I’d like to tie this whole rant up with some kind of bigger statement about how we are becoming short-attention-spanned illiterate dumb dumbs. But that wouldn’t capture the numbing white-hot rage I feel inside at everything this young high schooler’s quote represents about what it means to appreciate ideas and understand one another as a human species moving forward.
I’m just letting myself sit here - disappointed with everything.
And then again, the people who are least likely to share this rage and disappointment are probably not reading this.
Ugh. Get it together, people. Books. Give them a try.