Brilliant and well written. Reflections On Reading the Tough Stuff.
There are two reasons we read: to entertain, and to educate. I understand the generalization, but most, if not all motivations behind reading can adequately be loped into one category or the other.
Let me just say that reading for pleasure is my bread and butter. I do it everyday. I love Dan Brown, and Harry Potter. I read Stephen King, not for its artistic merit or intellectual weight, but for its gruesome plot lines and staggeringly detailed worlds. It’s bloody and explosive and awesome, and I love it. I’ll say the same for Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and the smattering of other best-sellers I consume. They’re wonderful pieces of escapism, but just that–nothing more.
By the same token, reading for inspiration and enlightenment is equally important in our quest for knowledge. We should try to read the histories, biographies, essays, and fictions of the thoughtful and profound, in attempt to intersperse escapism with…
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