To say that I'm an avid reader is an understatement. I truly love to read. In this affinity, I'm definitely in the minority. A question I've often pondered—why do so few people love to read? Why would most people rather pluck out their toenails than pick up a book?
Those who know me, know that I'm seldom at a loss for an answer even when that answer is completely wrong. With that said, I believe most people don't enjoy reading because their imagination was strangled by well-meaning but sadly misguided teachers. It all started—if you remember—with that seminal event in our lives called a “book report.” We were assigned a book to read, and after trudging tediously through this waste of a perfectly good tree we were then asked to stand up before a classroom full of hecklers and explain exactly what it was about this book that was so wonderful.
Maybe you were one of the lucky ones. Perhaps you actually enjoyed your book. It's hard for me to conceive of but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. In all my years of schooling I was never once assigned a book I enjoyed. In case that statement wasn't definitive enough... I absolutely loathed the poorly written and mind-bogglingly boring amateur hour narratives handed down by those smug and condescending trolls more commonly referred to as teachers.
The trouble all boils down to one fact; classics were written by unimaginative hacks whose works would have rotted in some publisher's slush pile had they been written today. I'm not blaming them; what did they have to compare themselves against? What kind of competition were they up against? Few in their time could read and those that could didn't exactly have a wide selection to choose from. In those unenlightened days maybe a 416 page story about an OCD fisherman and a big fish was a rollercoaster thrillride.
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