My whole life can be categorized by the books I’ve read.
Mysteries as a kid, Judy Blume as a tween, sci-fi as a teen. I was an English major in college, reading Shakespeare, Chaucer and Stephen Crane poetry. In grad school, I delved into nonfiction, consuming biographies and anything by David Sedaris.
And then there was J.K Rowling and the Harry Potter series.
It reminded me what it was like to be a kid eager to read. I loved it when my parents would banish me to my room. Little did they know their punishment was my reward. I could, without guilt, crawl in bed and read. It’s still one of my favorite things to do.
So it scares me when I hear people aren’t reading as much as they used to.
According to a story in The Economist last year, book publishing is heading the way of newspapers — down. While revenues are fairly stable, the climate is changing, the article said. It’s not so much about a great story but the ability for that story to turn into a blockbuster motion picture, to sell as e-books, to live beyond the bookshelf.
Why don’t we love to read anymore?
I couldn’t stop reading the Hunger Games triology — and on my full-color, industry-destroying Kindle Fire — and I felt this pang in my chest when I neared the end of the third book. It’s over. The books. There aren’t any more.
I hope my kids — all kids! — love to read as much as me, that they rely more on their imagination than on the visuals fed to them on TVs and iPad screens. I feel like my brain gets some exercise when I read, and the characters become people who live in my mind for awhile.
Anyone else feel the same way?