What value do you place on reading?

Book time is my favorite time. This is when I am already past the startup of a new novel and I find the time to just sit down and relax with it. I often go into an old bedroom in our house as it somehow seems more peaceful. It might be just before going to bed or sometimes when I have nothing to do. The world never seems more peaceful. It feels like hiding in a cave. When I was a child, book time was when I would go to the library. I discovered libraries at an early age and it was like discovering paradise.

Libraries were peaceful and quiet and full of all the ideas, fantasies, mysteries and great things of the world. I fell in love with books there. I probably love books more than anything in the world. I love them not only because of what they represent, but because of where they can take you and what they can make you. When I was young, knowledge was power and information was a precious resource. The balance of power has shifted now due to modern technology and the internet.

We seem to live in a society that seems more and more obsessed by sports. It is a society where star athletes are heroes and computer geeks are nerds. It is a society that places more value on baseballs, footballs and basketballs than on books and reading. Perhaps foolishly, I dream of a society where towns have signs up for leading academic students and not just for the “football champions of 03.” I dream of a society where music coaches and art teachers are as highly paid as NCAA athletic coaches. I dream of a society where as many students show up to watch the debating matches and chess matches as show up for the basketball games. I dream of a society where there are no such thing as nerds and geeks and where brains are as exciting as muscles.

Do you read enough? Do you value ideas as much as you value “who won the Superbowl?” Do you spend as much time reading as you do watching TV? Do you concern yourself with politics and culture as much as you do with popular sports and Hollywood celebrities? Do your children? Why not? Do you think your life might be different if you valued ideas more? What might change?

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