The Importance of Reading

Childhood Memories

Damn right I grew up on this show.

Seriously though, I have noticed that reading isn’t as popular or common as it once was.  I see many adults and students have trouble or show no interest.  Many people have told me they’d love to buy my books, but they don’t read.  That’s rather frustrating and a little scary because reading is very important.  Made me realize how often I talk about writing, but not the other side of the coin.  After all, what would be the point of books if nobody was going to read them?

Now, what are some reasons people don’t read:

  1. Not Enough Time–  This is incredibly honest and I totally understand.  It shows a desire to read, but life is getting in the way.  This is a struggle that I have, so I’ve done the best I can.  My method is to read manga and graphic novels when my son is in an appointment or I’m waiting for his bus.  Gives me about an hour to escape reality and they’re quick reads.  A few pages before bed, an article while on the toilet, an ebook on your phone at lunch, or any number of methods can get a little in.  Reading doesn’t always have to be a marathon.
  2. I Was Told *Insert Books* Don’t Count–  This is heartbreaking and I think people should never do this to others.  I said that I read manga and graphic novels because my schedule allows for them a bit easier than word-only novels.  I’m still reading.  People may say it doesn’t count, but it does.  New vocabulary and ideas come across from the story.  Relaxation and escapism has been achieved.  It’s all good.
  3. School Turned Me Off to Reading–  Sadly, this is a common one and I think it has merit.  We’re forced to read a lot of things in school, which turns the action from a fun experience to a chore.  Not every person is going to be into Shakespeare, Twain, or any book that is assigned.  With the amount of reading required for school, you might not even have time to read for fun.  This was a big problem for me in high school and I rebelled by focusing more on what I wanted to read instead of what I had to.  Not a good choice, but I feared this excuse becoming my life.  Only way to get over it is find a book you like and dive in to rekindle the interest.
  4. I Don’t Know How–  We’d like to think this isn’t a real one, but it is.  Could be that a person never learned and found ways to fake it through school.  Might not have graduated at all.  Could be that they can read in one language, but not another.  I know this would be my excuse if I was handed a book in French.  Learning can be difficult here, but it’s worth the effort.

The truth is that there are a wide array of excuses, so I can’t list them all here.  I think reading is very important, which is why it’s going to be a focus for when I go into graduate school.  We need it for everyday life.  Can’t even watch TV without reading at times because you need to search for stuff on streaming services.  A person may tell you what to look for, but the pictures might mean nothing without the words.  You also have menus, road signs, people texting more than talking, and the list keeps going.  There’s a reason we consider reading a basic skill.  I’d even say it’s more essential than mathematics since you need to know how to read instructions and word problems to get those done.  Reading always slips into things at some point.

Maybe we take reading for granted at times.  It seems like such an easy thing to do once you learn it.  We forget how much trouble we had as children and how we can still mess words up.  All we can do is keep reading whenever we can and help those that might want to learn or improve.  One could even say this is an important role for authors because we need an audience.  Can’t get reviews and critiques in a world where nobody has the ability to read your story.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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28 Responses to The Importance of Reading

  1. Reading is one of the greatest pleasures of my life. I crave something good to get my teeth into, and to occupy my thinking. Reading good books enriches and changes you. It deepens your understanding of the world.

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  2. L. Marie says:

    A really good topic, Charles! I’ve heard people mention others who stopped reading books. But I’ve heard of others who rediscovered the joy of reading during this pandemic. So I’m glad to hear about that! I hope you gain new readers because of it.

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    • I’ve actually read articles about many turning away from books during the pandemic. The reason is that the stress makes it psychologically difficult to indulge in escapism. Apparently, humans don’t want the world to explode while you’re riding a dragon or exploring an alien planet.

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  3. Super post, Charles. I have to feel sorry for folks that don’ read. I’ve met plenty of them and they all have one excuse or another. I guess it really comes down to a lack of priority.

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  4. Good topic. I don’t read enough and freely admit that. I’ve decided to take a writing break after my projects are out for the year. I’m going to spend some of that time reading. I’ll be back at the keyboard before I know it, but I can use the break and still feel like I’m accomplishing something.

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  5. jomz says:

    Time has often been the most that is holding me back from reading… The most I read are manga, a few articles here and there (read from the phone) and ebooks. It can be a bit annoying when the world around you can prevent you from truly immersing in a world that you are reading, but I guess we have to cope. A bit of reading is better than no reading at all.

    And yes, reading does not have to be a marathon. A chapter, a page can do… who says that you have to finish a novel to say that you are a reader, eh?

    Have a nice day!

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    • I’m a manga reader most of the time because I’m always on the run. Few things he irk me as much as having to stop reading mid-paragraph or when I’ve barely finished a page. So, I adopted more quick reads. Keeps me in the race.

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  6. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this insightful post from author Charles Yallowitz on The Importance of Reading

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  7. I love reading and I love books from the core of my heart. But sad truth is as you rightly said lack of time. Still lockdown days giving me better time than before 😊

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  8. So true! I have to consciously discipline myself to put away my devices and seek other activities. (This is easier now, when everything in my feeds is frightening.) The tiny screens often involve reading, but you get to the point where you’re looping back and seeing the same things over again. I read and do crossword puzzles to help myself settle down for the night.

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  9. missimontana says:

    Although I have loved reading since childhood, I hated reading the classics in high school. I found out later the texts we were using were only printing chapters of the books that were guaranteed not to offend anyone, thus giving the illusion of a dull story. I re-read them as an adult, and now I love many of those books. I have met many people who had a bad school reading experience and who refuse to attempt to move past it. So sad, they are losing so much by refusing to read.

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    • I wonder how many times that happened with the books I read. High school was rough with the classics because they felt dull to me. There are days I’m surprised it didn’t take me out too. Doesn’t really promote fun reading at all.

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