The concept and performance of reading is starting to overshadow the actual activity these days. For example, billionaires read books—therefore, reading makes you rich. Authors are likened to mentors. Reading makes you live a thousand lives.
At the end of the day, there are a ton of perks to reading. And I’m all for promoting reading as an activity. There is a social justification for this—studies suggest that reading can make people smarter, more empathetic, and so on.
But if we keep going down this route, people will inevitably get tired of this type of messaging (see “messaging fatigue”).
The most important thing that anyone needs to know about reading is, reading is reading.
Reading is most rewarding when it’s done for its own sake. Even though it’s probably a bit more work than watching TV, it’s a lot more rewarding too. The book is usually better than the movie. That’s exactly the way it should be.
Beeple once said, “Looking at creativity as something that’s much less precious will help you stick with it long-term. Along with that, people around you will be a lot more supportive if you’re a bit more flexible and a bit less douchey about it. Like you’re not so pretentious in terms of, “I’m an artist, I need to blah blah blah.” If you take it down a notch and just look at it as something you have to do today, just like taking a dump or eating supper, then it will be more sustainable in the long run.”
There’s nothing like reading—so we don’t always need to compare it to something else, and make it more aspirational.
A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. And reading is reading is reading is reading.