A Social Media Cleanse: Why Reading Books Make You Better
In the 1998 blockbuster film, You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks as “Joe Fox,” and Meg Ryan as “Kathleen Kelly,” the thematic sequence of events revolved around books. In this special social media cleanse, we’ll be discussing how reading makes you wiser – especially reading physical books.
Table of Contents
Physical Books versus eBooks
Reading as a Necessity
A place to read at
Everything In Between
Physical Books versus Kindle
While the discussion between physical books and eBooks is a grey area among readers, each poses its own value and pigmentation in the spectrum of titles and reading categories. As earlier mentioned, Kathleen Kelly (portrayed by Meg Ryan) in the film You’ve Got Mail, is a character who has come to love books. Kathleen meets Joe Fox (portrayed by Tom Hanks), who has built a massive bookstore across Kathleen’s beloved “Shop Around the Corner:” the bookshop she inherited from her mother. Depicted in the story is the value of possessing physical books, and how it brings countless readers together in harmony.
Even with eyes closed, physical books offer a trench of connection to its reader. When you place your hand over the fibers of a paper, you’d feel how each letter is tapped unto the page. The smell of books alone brings an epiphany to book readers, reminding them of the stories that have touched their lives. Moments stolen from the twenty-four hours daily, moments that have lasted more than they were intended to last.
Aside from physical books having the characteristic of being easy on the eyes, reading printed books amplify the joy of reading. It’s like watching a Broadway musical, you’d never truly enjoy the experience unless you’re in a theatre. Imagine watching Hamilton or Wicked on a screen, what do you think about that? You wouldn’t feel the depth of emotion that is radiated by the actors in the play, like listening to Alexander Hamilton on a busted stereo. There’s nothing compared to being seated in a grand theatre of dark red, and just like reading, physical books amplify the story to the reader.
Another hypertext of this point is the novel and film Little Women by brilliant author Louisa May Alcott. Lead-character and protagonist of the story “Jo,” makes her way through the devastations of poverty, feminism, opportunism, and familial life. As a writer herself, Jo ventures into deciphering her identity as an author, reader, daughter, and person. With her nose immersed in books, she has been poured with wisdom and liberation, among a sea of people who honor bliss over knowledge. Although the story of Little Women was set in a time after the civil war, and eBooks have not made it into the internet, nor did the internet exist during the time, books of hardbound, stitched, and pressed were the foundation of everything we have at present and all succeeding moments on.
Physical books, once published and printed, are creations of art. Each book is destined to age with grace, ‘til the pages turn brown and seem crumpled and torn up, books live on, and are passed from one generation to the next. Books age similar to people, who age like fine wine. Physical books are beyond digitalized copies that may or may not be legal. As mentioned by Jo in Little Women: “Writing doesn’t confer importance, it reflects it.”
The pros and cons of eBooks stand out from its definition. “Electronic books,” books that are made and used through the intelligence and advancement of technology. What are they good for? To mention a few, eBooks are...
- Available on audio versions
- Oftentimes more affordable
eBooks are a great companion when you are privileged enough to own a device that allows you to read digitally. As it says so above, eBooks offer about everything that physical books may not have on their list of offers. Despite eBooks’ characteristic of causing eye-strain, its benefits make up for its lapses. Imagine carrying a library in a single device, which you can bring around different locations across the globe. You wouldn’t have to worry about carrying kilograms of weight in your backpack or luggage, eBooks give you that benefit at no added cost.
On the contrary, eBooks are oftentimes copied and transferred into cloud storages and sold for less. This illegal activity violates copyrights, and intellectual property rights of authors, publishers, illustrators, and editors. To easily explain this, an author’s work is ripped of its rights and honor to be given credit and support, when readers choose unofficial eBooks.
Reading As a Necessity
“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
- John Keating in Dead Poets Society, 1989
In the 1989 Academy Award-winning original screenplay: Dead Poets Society, English teacher “John Keating” (portrayed by honorable Robin Williams), expressed and taught to his students, the value and breath of life poetry and books bring to the human race. In his compelling line “Carpe Diem” (“Seize the day”), John Keating has encapsulated the reason why reading and books and poetry are what human beings stay alive for. We become wiser as we read, and as we write. There are no limitations or expectations of grand that are asked for in learning how to write or how to fall in love with reading. We don’t need 25 years of experience to unlock the captivating stories there are in books. We need only to be interested, and everything will fall into place. Read stories that you are interested in, read poetry, write a biography of your life, and be certain that your work is a splendor of life.
A place to read at...
There’s one special place that offers silence, unlimited free coffee and tea, and and free fiber optic internet access, it’s a place called Weremote. It’s a local startup that can take your mind off the toxic bombardment of social media. Regain your love for reading, be it eBooks or physical books, read and learn as you grow. Try spending a day at Weremote’s coworking space, you won’t regret it. They even have a nanofiltration system that cleans and purifies the air, it’s like “O'Hare Air” from The Lorax. You’ll also love the ambiance of the place, it’s like the Korean drama Startup.
Everything In Between
- Physical Books Amplify the story
- eBooks are accessible
- Stories are what we live and stay alive for
There’s a lot of scary in the world, but the scariest thing to imagine is ignorance, the state of complete bliss from information. Anchoring from the line of “Cobb” in the science fiction and action film Inception, “Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate.” Wisdom is the upright quality of our knowledge, how we live out what we read in books and stories we come across.
“Make your lives extraordinary.” - John Keating in Dead Poets Society, 1989.
- Interns BookSpine