I think every year I have to write a few posts about reading. In 2013, I encounter too many folks who just don't read. Too many of them are proud of that fact. I mean don't get me wrong, most of us would rather see information compressed into a ten minute youtube video. I get that. However, there are some things that just can't be explained in a ten minute video. I am that person that believes that if you can't explain something within two minutes, you might not be able to teach it but there are quite a few things (like Quantum Physics and String theory) that aren't ready for that.
While some blame it on the internet or the sag in book sales. I actually place the blame on everyone. When I visit anyone's house, I look for a library. If I don't see one there, that tells me so much about a person. There is this cult of anti-intellectualism in the United States amongst all classes and ethnic groups. I don't think we have to debate that at all. Most people are content and even brag about not having to read anything all day. I have even heard people brag that they haven't read anything since college.
I don't take issue with folks reading 50 Shades of Grey or so called Urban Lit. My thing is to get people to read, then give them something more substantial to digest. It's how many of us from my 'hood learned how to read. I read comics while many of my peers read Iceberg Slim or Donald Goines. Then we jumped into heavier stuff. I remember picking up certain books as a youngblood and putting them down because they were too tough for me to read. Then years later, I would pick them up and I would get it. I am assuming, and I could be wrong, that many of us are like that. So we should encourage folks to read anything they can get their hands on. I will admit 50 Shades of Grey is not my thing and I am not going to sit here and act like it's "literature," but as long as I see folks sitting down with a book, I am geeked.
I also think it's a good thing to have more than one way to read a book. It's why I published my first book digitally. I am slowly getting into the habit of reading articles on my phone. I think it's convenient. It takes some getting used to. It costs much more to print on paper. So it makes economic sense. Younger people are avoiding physical books altogether and sticking with the apps on their mobile devices. While books may go the way of vinyl where a small niche of people will continue to purchase them, digital is the way to go.
At the end of the day, read any way you can. I think that's important. While many might say that urging folks to read is redundant, I still don't see enough people doing it or discussing books.