When people ask the question, “Why read?” the first things that come to mind are the utterly meaningless and uninviting qualities books have: the smell of the pages, the sound a new novel makes when it’s opened, the idea of being able to be completely immersed in your own little world. Gross.
Sure, some people buy e-books instead of printed ones. But e-books aren’t really any better because you’re still plunged head first into a fantastic literary world of your choosing, and who the hell would want that.
But beyond a superficial level, reading books is still to completely no benefit. In fact, you might as well just watch a movie or listen to an audio book, because it’s pretty much the same thing.
One of the great things about skipping the book to watch the movie adaptation is that because movies are so condensed they tend to pick out only the most action packed or intense scenes, meaning that all the other parts that were clearly just too boring to include get left out. Who cares if the story is no longer cohesive and makes no sense? At least we don’t have to waste time understanding the movie!
For whatever silly artistic reason, some films do a great job of adapting books and manage to make all the parts fit together on the screen in their own right. But I think we all much prefer the films that try to do a quick enactment of a popular book just to get the ticket sales, resulting in the story being unevenly stitched together. There’s no better cinema out there!
Another awesome benefit of only watching the movie is that you get shown exactly how characters look, eliminating the annoying need for imagination. There’s nothing worse than reading a book and having to imagine what a character looks and sounds like.
Even listening to an audio book is better than scraping your eyes painstakingly along a page. While you still have to do a lot of the hard work yourself (imagining things), at least the narrator’s voice has some influence on your design. And you never have to worry about figuring out emphasis or tone on your own. The narrator does that for you. Because having your own interpretation of things is just dumb.
With audio books and movies you also get the added benefit of not having to improve your vocabulary. You’ll still hear new words on the mp3 or in the movie, but they probably won’t stick. Reading, on the other hand, makes it way more likely that you’ll remember a new word! As if reading wasn’t already bad enough.
Reading also gives you too much time to give into the temptation of stopping to actually look the word up to see what it means. You are less likely to do so if you are listening to an audio book or watching a movie. Because you can read at your own pace, you also have way too much time to think about what you are reading about and thus might come up with some ideas of your own for once. That’s dangerous territory to be in!
Books are important in their own right. When stacked they can be used to elevate your computer screen so you can better watch your movie, for example. They’re also useful as fuel for your bonfire while you listen to your audio book.
But let’s be honest, it’s high time everyone recognized that books have become outdated and don’t deserve any real credit in their own right as a medium.