This I Believe

Brian - Sterling Heights, Michigan
Entered on March 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that everyone should spend more of their free time reading. I am not talking about required reading for classes, or reading the paper, though those are perfectly fine activities, and things you should do anyways. I am talking about reading for pleasure. It irritates me that in today’s society, people who can benefit so much from such a simple activity make excuses not to do it.

First of all, reading builds your vocabulary by a tremendous amount. So many times I have seen people struggle with the meanings of words that are common in the books I read. People use this difficulty they have as an excuse to not read, saying it is too difficult. I say to them to read more, to really try to read more. The more you read, the easier it gets.

Some people say that books are boring. They need to realize that there is a book out there somewhere you would like. Not all books are like those you are forced to read in school. Some others say it takes too long to read a book. To them, I again say to work at it. The more you read, the easier it gets, and the faster you can read.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say that they could just watch the movie. So much is cut from movies based on novels that it is ridiculous. You can tell when someone has no idea that the book is different from the movie. I will not see a movie before I have read a book, as I am afraid it will taint the imagery I get when I read a book.

Packed in with that is another form of slothfulness: Sparknotes or the equivalent. Not only do these cater to people too lazy to read the book, but also gives them wrong information. Their interpretations of the books are often contrary to the author’s intent. For example, the one for Lord of the Rings interprets symbols in the book that aren’t there, or in a way the author expressly denied in his letters.

I believe that the greatest joy in my life comes from reading. I can sit down with a book at any time and disappear in another world. I am constantly reading. From the works of Shakespeare to science fiction, from classic horror to grand adventures, I read everything. A writer’s work can evoke any emotion in the reader, and I find that fascinating.

I believe everyone should spend more of their free time reading. I find it sad that in today’s fast-paced society, people find it hard to find the time to sit down and do something that could benefit them. People should make the time that is required to read. Ten minutes here or there, every little bit adds up. If it has made such a difference in my life, I see no reason why it should not do the same in others.