[ 2 min read ]
This whole series of my posts about reading books which I called “On being an ignoramus” (later I subtitled it “One crazy artist’s take on reading books in the 21st century”) was not intended to be a tirade against books, against reading them. It may sound like a tirade against reading books (and the praise of the Internet), but it’s not. Such was not my intention and my opinion is that it neither is nor sounds like a tirade against reading books. You, the reader can, of course, have a different opinion (as always). We don’t need to agree in our opinions.
Anyway, my whole point was to show people how much enthralled we en masse are with reading books. How we en masse are taught to be so. And how it thus often escapes our attention that books are just as any other means of conveying thoughts, ideas and messages to people. There is nothing so very special about books as a means of conveying thoughts, ideas and messages to people. My take, it’s no different from any other means we have (blogs, places like Quora, places like Medium, other internet articles, all publications in general, but also art, music, videos, movies, documentaries, podcasts, radio, etc.).
Among other things I wanted to expose our bias towards book reading, which is present in many cultures. And why it is present? Because that’s the dominant opinion and dominant views, opinions, mindsets, beliefs, attitudes are being disseminated with the greatest ease. There is no resistance when it comes to disseminating most popular views, opinions, mindsets, beliefs, attitudes. They are very common among people so nobody looks at them with suspicion. They have this aura of rightness in them. They’re the right thing. Because we think (without thinking) “Can so many people be wrong?”. And so we usually assume that the things we see the most in our circle (among people like us — in our culture), the views, opinions, mindsets, beliefs, attitudes are the right stuff. The right way to think.
As I pointed out earlier in this series, books are treated differently, we are probably much more eager to trust books than the stuff which we find on the Internet. And, I think, without a sound reason. I mean, just think about it. People can write a book about any topic, and present that topic (problem) from any angle they want. They can be (and are) biased in their books, they can lie, they can interpret, they can preach, they can try to sell us on their life philosophy. And they do all that in books.