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Volume 2, Issue 4                                    University of Houston

Reading -- it's a vicious circle

David McGuire

The other day I made an incredibly careless and stupid mistake.

I walked into a used bookstore, purchased a book and took it home to read. When I returned home it was nearly 9:30 p.m.

I ignored any common sense I may have been able to scrounge up over the years and decided to read the first chapter before going to bed. I wound up staying up all night reading the book, and I was just finishing the last chapter at 6:00 a.m. This is when I realized two things. 

The first thing is that I should not be allowed anywhere near books.

The second thing is that books are no different from television or video games.

Books, TV and video games are distractions from the real world. They are ways to avoid having to interact with society. They are nothing but methods of postponing your real responsibilities.

It's true that books do stimulate your brain a small fraction of a percent more than TV does, but the lasting result is the same. Too much TV will turn you into a drooling zombie-like couch potato. Too much reading will have the same mind-numbing effects.

What good are the intellectual benefits of books if your obsession with books cuts into your personal life?

When I pick up a book, I cannot put it down until I've read it from cover to cover. Bookmarks are completely useless to me. I cannot help but get the feeling that I am not the only one with this problem.

Books, like all other forms of entertainment, are a plague upon society. They hold us back, beat us down and imprison us with the very same creativity that should logically be setting us free.

Books are the most powerful drugs on the market today. They're an escape from the dreary ordinary life into a fantasy world where anything can happen.

The temptations are far too strong for most adults to resist. We've been trained to read books -- the vile things -- since we were children. 

Pro-book propaganda is spoon fed to us by schools, TV, Muppet posters and even our own government. "Hey kid, read a book ... the first one's free!"

There are horrible public institutions called libraries where addicts can go and read all the books their sick little minds crave.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've walked astray from the straight and narrow path. I've frequented libraries on a number of occasions. If given the chance I'd go again.

Books take over you life and rule your emotions. Please think twice the next time you decide to sit down with a book.

By the way, the last book I read was Dracula by Bram Stoker. It is highly recommended reading.

McGurire can be reached at dclettrs@mail.uh.edu.

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