Saturday, January 30, 2010

What We're Reading

Not too long ago USA Today published their bestseller list for the year 2009. I like their list because it doesn't split books up by subject or format, it's just a simple list of what books are selling the best. So, what were America's favorite books last year? Numbers one, two, three, and four are all books in the “Twilight” vampire series by Stephanie Meyer.

Seriously? Sparking vampires? That's what you're reading America? You couldn't have found anything more challenging, stimulating, or improving? Oh my. Listen to me America. It's okay that you read an occasional sparkly vampire book. Really. All work, no play, I understand. But your four favorites are all sparkly? Let's think about this for a moment. There is a lot more at stake than a bit of literary fluff. Don't believe me? America, next time you visit Boston (and don't pretend you're not going to visit, I see you every year America, with your cameras and fanny packs, walking the Freedom Trail and visiting colleges, you'll be here, sooner or later) stop by our library. It won't be hard to find, it's just a block away from the big shopping mall. Look up and read what is carved into the side of the building. “The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of order and liberty.” What does that mean? It means that if you have the ability to read, you have a duty to yourself and your society to occasionally read something that challenges your mind, that exercises your brain. Entertainment is fine, but while you're at it inform, expand, and educate. America, if you stop reading good books we lose the greatest safeguard of our order and liberty – an informed, intelligent populace.

There you are America. If all you're reading is sparkly vampire stuff, then the terrorists win. And you don't want that, now do you? Of course not. So stand up, salute the flag, march down to a library or bookstore near you, and continue that education. Be a patriot – embiggen your mind.

No comments: