Thursday, January 17, 2013
Don't Fear the Reading
I recently attended an event where I heard one of the speakers say that he didn’t read any fiction books if he didn’t like the author’s message. I realize that we all have different reasons for why we read the things we read, but I lose respect for people who tell me they don’t read a particular author because they disagree with the message.
One of the key issues with this statement is that there is no way to know an author’s message until you’ve read the book. So there’s an underlying issue that this individual doesn’t want to listen to viewpoints different from his own. If his primary desire is to be closed minded, then why is he reading at all? Reading opens up worlds. If your desire is to enclose your world as much as possible, then opening a book is the wrong place to go.
Just because an author has different religious or political beliefs doesn’t mean that the author can’t tell a story or has nothing valuable to say. If the author views the world differently, it can get us thinking about our own views in a way that strengthens and refines them. This is a good thing.
The Murakami quote in the meme at the top of this post is one of my favorites. Reading stretches the mind and opens up worlds. Reading books from different perspectives is an artistic dialog between the author and reader. No one has to be right or wrong. It’s really about the conversation. And the more we converse, the more potential we have to make the world we live in a better pace.
So don't be afraid to read about different perspectives. You may even discover new things about yourself.