All you have to do is turn on your TV to see the proliferation of ads for movies either based on comic books or children’s stories to know that we have sunk to a new low in America when it comes to reading. That the movies can’t even write their own infantile scripts but instead have to base them on comic books is so pathetic that it would boggle the mind, that is, if we had any minds left. It is astounding to me that in our supposedly highly educated society so few people actually read books. I don’t even believe that they actually read comic books and why should they when they can just go watch the movie? This is a sad, sad state of affairs and there is no excuse, not when the public library systems in most major U.S. cities are still in existence. I say still in existence because with the inability or downright refusal of our citizens to read books the library system will be in jeopardy in years to come.
I am a voracious reader of books. Real books, written by adults, on any and all subjects are fascinating to me. I can wander through the magnificent stacks at the public library for hours, pulling down volume after volume and then sitting in the comforting silence and reading to my heart’s content. Library books are a national treasure and it is our privilege to be able to step into any public library and be able to learn about any subject imaginable or to just escape from our worries and problems for a few hours. When I leave the library, I inevitably hoist three to five books under my arm, replacing the three to five books that I have devoured in the previous week or two. There are always people at the library but the numbers are steadily dwindling.
Why is it that Americans can’t seem to find the time to read? Every time reading comes up at a gathering, several people will just zone out and give the old excuse “I don’t have time to read. I am just too busy.” That excuse never flies with me and I always see through it and deep into the shallow eyes of the person who uttered the inanity. I have just as busy a life as anyone else and I not only find the time to read, I also write as much as I possibly can, and do research to boot. No, too little time is not the problem, it is laziness, sheer, unadulterated laziness.
And the most disturbing thing is that whole generations of adults are living entire lives without picking up library books. Why would they vote to continue funding this public service if such a resolution were to one day be placed on the ballot as it surely will be. Library books are the lost treasure trove of this country but one day they could all end up in a storage bin somewhere, gathering dust. I fear for the minds of our children and for all of the adults who still think like children. We need to get away from comic books and back to library books and we need to do it now. We are wasting time and our country is wasting its intelligence.