"The Coronation" Reminds Readers to Crack Open a Book
When I was younger, I was constantly getting in trouble for staying up wayyyy past bedtime with a book and a flashlight. My reading frenzy was a defining characteristic of my childhood, lasting far into middle school. When high school came around, freshman year English mixed business with pleasure as I flew through pages upon pages of classic literature...two birds, one stone, right? Yet as I grew older, life seemed to go 90mph at all times. Reading grew to be strictly school only, and leisure reading was lost to activities like student government, football management (yes, I did that for three years), and trying to fill out college applications. College was even busier.
To be entirely honest, the last time I read an entire book for fun was over Christmas break. This places me at a strong 1-2 leisure reads a year.
Most Americans are right within my leisure read range. 28% of Americans haven't even read one book in the last year, while 25% have read between one and five. Whether it's the technology rise, our pride in busy-ness, or a general dislike for the brain power required to read, Americans don't partake in the activity often.
What would happen if we changed that?
The benefits of reading are truly priceless. Studies show open mindedness, expanded vocabulary, reduced stress, improved focus, and stronger analytical skills as results of consistent reading. As a nation, we could use not one, but ALL of those traits. Maybe our Commander in Chief could spell, maybe we'd be able to view issues from multiple perspectives, or perhaps we'd be slower to speak and quicker to focus. It's worth a shot.
In Livy Jarmusch's "The Coronation", a bookworm/princess states..."Why I can't even begin to imagine what my life would be like without books! The written word causes you to transcend time and geographical locations! Boundaries are broken and every limit is shattered..." (p. 58).
Ya, hear that? Break those boundaries! As someone who really wants to be everywhere at once, books are a far cheaper option compared to the plane ticket I so desperately wish for. It may not be your thing, and that's fine. But I challenge you to try it out. Pick up a novel and see what happens. Maybe you'll see an issue differently. Or maybe your eyes will just enjoy the break from your screen. Either way, picking up a book, new or old, is a good idea.