Saturday, June 09, 2012

The Value of Reading

Someone on Facebook posted this link.  It's an eight-year-old essay, so I'm not sure what the impetus for posting about it now was, but it gave me some food for thought.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/27/books/essay-books-make-you-a-boring-person.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

Obviously, I would be expected to disagree with this writer, but not so fast.  The general argument in education is that reading anything, especially for children, is good.  Well, I would not say that Fifty Shades of Grey would not benefit anyone.  People are free to read it, but arguing that reading it produces some kind of benefit is silly.  Same with comic books. 


But if the comparison is between video games and reading, TV and reading, and the material is the same, go with reading.  It engages the brain more.  However, I think the real question is "reading or what?"  Physical activity, dialogue with others, helping others, prayer, reflection, all are necessary adjuncts to or alternatives to reading, just reading, just pouring our full attention over words just because they happen to be printed.

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