Alright guys, time to fess up: when is the last time you read something that was not homework? I’m talking about for fun here, no one made you read it and you’re not getting marked on your understanding of it. No participation grades here.
If you can say within the last month then by all means I applaud you, especially if you’re a student.
However if you can’t think of the last time you held a book or periodical in your hands we need to have a little chat. Step into my office. These are some signs you need to tab over from Perez Hilton and shift your attention to something a little more beneficial to your overall life:
- You can tell me exactly how much weight Snooki has lost but can’t list one benefit of protein.
- You know what projects Kim Kardashian works on but draw a blank on what the Manhattan Project is.
- Your idea of catching up on the news is reading your Facebook timeline.
- You hurry to a restaurant if someone tells you to run like you’re in the Hunger Games.
- You get called a Muggle and don’t even understand what you’ve just been told (proving Muggle status).
- You think the only way to get a general knowledge of a topic is to Google exactly what you’re looking for.
- You can list off what LMFAO, LOL, ROFL, AFK, and BRB all stand for but acronyms like HIV, NASA, AM/PM, BC/AD, or even P.S. give you trouble.
- You know National Geographic as the magazine that had pictures of boobs.
- Your mind will be blown when I tell you Romeo and Juliet were teenagers who knew each other for merely days before they killed themselves.
- You know more about Anna Kournikova than Anna Karenina.
How’d you do? I know we all enjoy knowing what’s going on with our favourite celebrities but we can’t just settle with this information and call it a day. Perhaps you’re very busy and miss reading for fun or perhaps you just don’t enjoy reading period. Whatever the reason, it is truly in your best interest to pick up some literature and dive in. There’s so much out there you cannot possibly convince me that there is nothing you’re interested in. Its all just a matter of finding what you enjoy learning about.
Below is a list I put together of reasons why you should blow the dust off those books you said you would read but haven’t yet. Maybe its the sapiosexual in me but I truly believe we can all improve ourselves with a little mental workout every now and again.
1. So you can understand cultural references.
Do you know how many expressions/allusions originate from books? The answer you’re looking for is “countless.” From classic opening lines such as “call me Ishmael” (Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”) to 2013’s sayings-du-jour like “may the odds be ever in your favour” (from Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”) there are few better moments of insight when you truly understand the reference someone is making and because you not only understand the meaning behind said allusion but also what it is they’re telling you becomes so much more clear.
2. So you can better connect with people.
How cool is it when you can carry on an actual conversation about something that interests you? Its a wonderful moment when you can discuss and debate your favourite book.
3. So you can honestly understand what people are talking about.
You know that feeling you had when you told the teacher you did your homework and sat there silently praying they didn’t ask you a question about it because you did not actually do said assignment? Same applies when someone references a classic novel or important piece of news. You’d be surprised how often these references will appear in the most random places and when that lightbulb goes off you feel like you’ve been let into a secret club. Only those who read it will understand and this fills you with a great sense of power (just use it for good, not evil). Read “Pride and Prejudice” even once and you will find Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy everywhere. I know you already said you already have so just finally read the damn thing for real!
4. To keep up with what’s going on around you.
It is so easy to lose sight of the big picture and sometimes when you’re busy it does happen. I’m not here to judge. I’m simply saying you would better off in the long run to keep up with the world’s events than the Kardashians. There are bigger and more important things going on in your country and the world around you than your friend’s #SelfieSunday Instagram.
5. The books are always better than the movies.
As good as the movie can be, the books almost always hold so much more story to learn about and connect with. Why spoil the major plot twists by watching the movie first?
6. Intelligence is sexy.
With the infinite number of things you can learn from reading you’ll become well-rounded and this is a highly attractive quality. Obviously you can have your areas of expertise but there is a magazine containing a mix of information on pretty much any topic you can think of. Magazines are basically scaled down textbooks on glossy pages. By the time you finish it you don’t even realize how much you learned. Easy peasy. If you doubt me just ask Ryan.
7. To escape.
I read somewhere that a good book is the cheapest vacation you can take. How else can you wander the streets of Victorian London with Sherlock Holmes one week then end up in Middle Earth entering battle with great wizards the next? What if you wanted to live the life of jazz-age flapper with Daisy in New York before making your way to war-torn Afghanistan and discovering how to kite run? Anyone who knows me knows how much I would love to go to Hogwarts and my ticket to Platform 9 3/4s comes via a book. Not only can you enter the world(s) of the book’s characters but you get to leave the troubles and stresses of your own life for awhile. All without actually leaving that cozy blanket.
8. Because Hermione Granger didn’t become so awesome by ignoring the wizarding world’s literature.
Need more reasons?
This guy knows what’s up.