Nobody Reads Anymore: The Death of the Written Word and Other Lies

Monday, January 17, 2022
No one reads anymore. At least that's what they say. And as someone who makes her living from writing, this is disheartening news indeed. But you know what? I don't agree. Social media would like us to believe that the readers of the world have collectively taken their last breath and disappeared into the catacombs of an ancient library somewhere, but I don't think that's true at all. Maybe the pandemic has put a pause on our reading habits (not as many commuters to sit and read on a train or bus, not as many customers randomly hanging out at Starbucks, chilling with their Frappuccino and a good book - you get the idea). But I refuse to believe that no one reads anymore. It makes me cringe. What is this, Idiocracy? (have you seen this movie? Watch it, it's hilarious, yet oddly eye-opening). 

This post is part of an editorial section called Beyond Momma, where I share personal thoughts and stories. You can check out more of Beyond Momma here.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (even Linked In) lead us to believe that our time is so precious, written articles now need to come with disclosures: '5 Minute Read' is often printed alongside a link, as if the would-be reader must know exactly how many minutes of their life they must sacrifice before committing to click. But this is a ruse, you see. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter don't want you to surf away to (gasp!) read an article. You might never come back! They even ask you before you go: "This link is leading you to an article outside of Facebook - are you sure you want to go?" It's like your drug-pusher friend trying to convince you not to leave the party with your straight-edge friend. 

I am grateful for libraries - actual, physical buildings that house thousands of books that we can touch with our own two hands. As a kid, I loved to visit my local library and pick out books to read by the pool. I still do. I also love that our local library has an entire card catalog online that you can look through, and even request to put books on hold for easy pick up. You can't ask for much more than that! They even have fun reading programs with prizes and incentives during certain seasons, for both kids and adults. Maybe today is a good day to check out the library in your own town, no? When was the last time you were there? 

Little Jersey Momma reading by the pool (in a Wonder Woman bathing suit, of course)

One of my college professors once quoted poet Adrienne Rich and the words have never left me: "You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it." Reading and writing sets us apart from the many mammals of Earth. Words are like fuel- they feed our intelligence. Any teacher will tell you that "good readers make good writers," and it's so true. The more we read, the more we know. Don't let a social media site tell you what you should or shouldn't read! 

I will fight to the bitter end for the written word. I will get up on my horse and paint my face blue and shout "READ!" to the masses, if that will inspire others to step away from TikTok or Instagram for five minutes. Get on your horse and follow me! We can win this war, I promise.

Post playlist: Freedom (Braveheart) by James Horner, End Credits (The Giver) by Marco Beltrami

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