Reading books means you’re smart right?
No, the absorbing and understanding of knowledge means you’re smart. The source is irrelevant.
Days of yore
For as far back as I can remember I’ve never been much of a book reader. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the odd book if I get quite into it, and it can be a great time, but it’s never been something that’s really taken me. Recently I’ve been noticing a trend that seems to be little more than a new version of shaming in that people will look down on you when they find out you aren’t a book person.
“I’m not much of a reader” does not equate to “I’m dumb” and it’s time some members of society started to realise that.
Books are wonderful things and I get the appeal. I’m a fan of tactile contact so I like holding stuff in my hands, and books fit that category very nicely. They are great entertainment and are a great source of information, but I hate to burst everyone’s bubble and say they they aren’t the only pathway to intellect.
We’re at an age where we know that everyone is different, or at least more different than previously thought. One of these differences is the way we process and pick up information – I.E. Learn. There are a number of groups that have been identified, and of those groups the individual within learns in a different way.
When I was in school in the 80’s and 90’s I had a bit of a rough time. I would try to study by reading textbooks but I found myself glazing after about 20 minutes. Even if I managed a couple of hours I would come away not really remembering anything yet I could recall entire scenes from films after only a couple of watches. Manuals were pretty useless too as context free examples with unexplained new additions were rampant throughout.
Of course I spend a good chunk of my youth being called lazy, which just wasn’t true and was heartbreaking at times. I really did put in the effort, but the information just didn’t stick, and I couldn’t work out why everyone else seemed to “get it” yet I didn’t?
Of course we know now that there are 4 different ways of learning (probably more), and these are –
Text based (Reading/writing)
Like all things in life it’s never cut and dry, so most people maybe fall in to a couple of categories. I myself fall in to the Visual/Kinesthetic groups which just means I learn by example and not by reading about cold technique from books.
I’m sure many people are the exact opposite.
So why the hostility towards non book folk then? It could be that books have been a part of the human knowledge resource for thousands of years, and so anything that goes against the grain could be seen as odd and met with aggression (a typical human trait). Of course after the atrocities of the Nazis (with regards to paper literature) the perception of the humble book has become almost infallible for that very reason.
For years books were the only source of information and learning, so as such have an association with the intellectual, which is perfectly valid. It stands to reason then that the hipsters and general image gremlins would latch on to this like a leech. It also stands to reason that the insecure of the world (who happen to be book readers), desperate for validation, would take this as a shining example of their character and of course would do anything to outwardly project that trait in order to garner a modicum of appeal. Unfortunately this can of course stray into the dangerous territory of elitism, for when you start to put others down in order to make yourself look good then you begin to have a serious personality problem.
This can readily and often produce the bold statements of:
“HOW CAN YOU NOT READ?”
“PICK UP A BOOK ONCE IN A WHILE!”
“I GUESS THAT BOOK HAD NO PICTURES HAHA!”
and a really nice one…
“THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD, THOSE WHO READ BOOKS AND THOSE WHO ARE IDIOTS!“ (Yes I did actually see that last one!).
Even worse are the ones that say “MAKE YOUR CHILD READ BOOKS!” which quite frankly, I think is disgusting!
No-one should be made to do anything.
I come from a family of great readers. My own father was a bookworm, technician, lecturer, mathematician, astronomer and computerphile. My brother is much the same, and my Mum always has a book on something or other. Of course I was heartily encouraged to read as well, and I did if I enjoyed the book. However, I always found more pleasure in other things like film, TV, building stuff with my hands and looking at images.
People should remember than there are mediums other than books out there, especially these days. You could read a textbook definition of something to me all day and I still wouldn’t understand it. However, show me one example and I’m off and running.
Enjoy your books. Make them available and encourage your children and friends to read but don’t get pissed off with them if they don’t take to it.
They’re not stupid.
If you think they are, or that they are somehow beneath you intellectually for not being book readers, then you need a serious word with yourself and maybe come to terms that your perceived “enlightenment” is really just overcompensation, snobbishness and bullying.