Thursday, February 26, 2015

On Reading Books

“The Pew Research Center reported that nearly a quarter of adults had not read a single book in the last year.  As in, they hadn’t cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audio book while in the car.  The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1979.”

The above paragraph is from Charles M. Blow in an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times last year.  He went on to observe, “I understand that we are now inundated with information, and people’s reading habits have become fragmented by bite-size nuggets of text messages and social media, and that takes much of the time that could otherwise be devoted to long-form reading.  I get it.  And I don’t take a troglodytic view of social media.  I participate and enjoy it.  But reading texts is not the same as reading a text.”

Is this diminished interest in reading books a problem?  I believe so.  Indeed, it reveals several things of serious importance – and none of them are good.  For instance, it gives us an indication of how our ultra-expensive education system is failing.  We’re paying more and more and our kids are in the hands of the state educators more and more. Nevertheless, America is getting dumber by the day. This diminished reading also illustrates that American society is corrupted by the shallow, self-centered atmosphere produced by television shows, smart phones, computers, etc. in which modern society lives and breathes.  And as Marshall McLuhan warned us long ago, our minds are being shaped not only by the content of media, but by its methodology, its sensuality (think not merely of sexuality but sensual pleasures of other sorts too), its all-encompassing nature, and its demand for our immediate subservience.

So, yes. I think America’s decline in reading books is a big deal.  We’re becoming dumber, lazier, more superficial, less discerning, and thus more easily led by an array of elite social controllers.  Beginning to read books again isn’t the solution to the messes America is in, of course.  But I contend it can be an important part of one’s personal defense against the encroaching acculturation and, if carried out well and by enough of us, it could even help provide for others a lighted path out of the darkness...

Read the rest of this month's LifeSharer at the Vital Signs Ministries website right here.