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Reading is for the Birds

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Dear Peers of Mine,


As a fellow member of your generation, I applaud you on your unanimous decision to decrease the time you spend reading. The Lord knows we cannot all spend hours pouring over the wordy text of classic literature when there exists other, more exciting and thrilling activities that call to us, that beckon us to their side so that we may together traverse a path—a path that is, granted, much simpler and less confrontational for us.

Why labor for hours, anyway, to discover the hidden meaning lodged deep within a poem of Robert Frost? Or curl up beside a crackling fire, warmed by the wool of a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate to escape into the shadowy halls of Baskerville Manor and accompany world-renowned detective Sherlock Holmes and his endearing sidekick, Dr. Watson, as they uncover the truth behind The Hound of the Baskervilles? Why indulge in such a pointless, time-wasting activity when two years ago there was released a remake of Sherlock Holmes, featuring the wonderful (and handsome) actors, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law? The answer, when faced with such a choice, should be so pristinely clear. A two-hours-and-eight-minutes piece of visual entertainment or a lengthy, hard-to-read novel that would take one several days to finish?

Was there ever an option, some might say?

In the world of today, the world of technology, books are as obsolete as checks. The time has now arrived on our doorstep where we must charge onward; we must now take the stallion of our lives by its reigns and jerk it into a canter. We cannot simply stop to breathe in the fresh air; nor can we take the time to dismount and touch ever-so-gently, in spell-bound awe, the baby-skin-pink petals of a chrysanthemum, or take pause to note how the snow-capped mountains resemble the lumpy back of a giant, arching towards the heavens. Such activities are vain, null and void, and they will eventually be run over by the roaring engines of our society.

“We are in the process of disentangling ourselves from that kind of peace of mind, so it is rude for you to hinder the world by insisting on adhering to the beloved paradigms of the past,” wrote Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events, to all of the participants of the 2010 National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) competition. “It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.”

Stop it, indeed. Are we not glad to have already reached that point in our lives, fellow peers? We already see, unlike the stargazers and dreamers, where our priorities must lie. There are so many more important things for us to be occupying our time with rather than the companionship of that satisfying The Scarlet Pimpernel still lying on your bedside table; several other duties to attend to instead of finishing that old, aging copy of Pride and Prejudice. Be glad you have forgone the newspaper for the daily news on the television, and be glad you never did read those books that were on your summer school reading list.

Reading is for the birds—that is, those who know how to fly.

With love,

A Fellow Peer




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even_though_i_love_u said...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm:
good grief this is beautiful . job very well done !
 
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