Read Deeply or Suck Mightily

A Young Girl ReadingAll exaggeration intended, but scientific and unscientific studies alike are coming up with the same conclusion: People who read deeply are pretty much better people in every way.

A recent post over at TIME emphatically states that deep reading creates more real life empathy (the opposite of jerkathy). Over at Elite Daily they have this to say in regards to studies done by leading sciencticians:

[People who read deeply] can entertain other ideas, without rejecting them and still retain their own. While this is supposed to be an innate trait in all humans, it requires varying levels of social experiences to bring into fruition and probably the reason your last partner was such a narcissist.

In case you are still hemming over the definition of deep reading, let me clear things up for you. (Let me reassure you, yes, you suck.) Reading deeply excludes the sort of internet skimming most of us have grown accustomed to. Reading while watching TV and/or driving. You know, that sort of thing.

Apologies to you authors out there, but reading deeply also excludes reading with red pen in hand. So books you’ve started and dumped after coming up with a dozen places where the writer screwed it all up don’t count.

Comic books don’t count. Reading goodnight stories to your children doesn’t count. Reading long street signs doesn’t count. Even those rambling texts from annoying people who text from their tablets and fill up a whole screen with something that really should have been an email…those don’t count. Reading Twilight doesn’t count (oh no, he didn’t!).

Most of us are slipping away from deep reading

Truth is, most of us are slipping away from deep reading, and we already feel guilty about it. Those of us who still read deeply know they are better than everyone else, and thus have become self-righteous prigs and lost their potential for empathy with the rest of us schmucks. All of this taken together means we’re screwed. The next step will be lighting books on fire in public squares.

The only way we can divert this all-but-certain reality is to start reading more books with less distraction. To be on the safe side, I’m going to stick with ebooks. They don’t burn as spectacularly.

If that sounds like too much work

If that sounds like too much work, then click here to help me write a live, interactive story in which readers are empowered to create characters, direct the plot and more. When in Rome…

Leave a Comment