Life Without Books

When finals ended this semester, one of the first things I did was go looking for a good book to read. According to the internet, this habit of reading for pleasure isn’t shared by everyone—33% of high school graduates won’t read another book after high school. To my fellow lovers of words out there, this probably sounds absurd.

I can partially understand the choice to avoid books if these young adults are only exposed to required reading. Who would want more of that? To quote Charlie Chaplin in his Autobiography:

If only someone had … infused me with fancy instead of facts … given me a point of view about history and taught me the music of poetry, I might have become a scholar.”

Enthusiasm drives learning, and I think what influences a child’s love of reading most is their parents. I often had books read aloud to me, before entering kindergarten. My parents involved us kids in summer reading programs at the library (with prizes!), so reading was exciting.

I learned to love books early, and that’s why a life without books is hard to imagine for me. Now I search out new ideas on my own, for the pure joy of it.


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