[ 2 min read ]
I once believed that reading books is better than watching movies, YouTube videos, documentaries, listening to podcasts, and reading blogs, or Quora. That it’s the ultimate way of accumulating knowledge and gaining wisdom. I think I believed so because that’s what most educated people believe and that’s what so called enlightened or successful people pass down to their followers (or disciples, if you will).
But then I did what became my habit in recent years, I guess. I questioned it. And I no longer am of that opinion. I think there is nothing so super special about books (reading them). That books are not the ultimate way of expressing thoughts and passing them to others. It doesn’t have to be. I mean movies, YouTube videos, documentaries, podcasts, blogs, Quora, etc. (the Internet in general) can be just as good, and sometimes even way better source of information or learning material. Art too. Certainly today, and as we progress into the future even more so.
I believe people don’t necessarily have to read books to be enlightened, or to learn, or to improve the quality of their lives (be more happy, fulfilled, etc.), or to change their lives in a significant way, or to properly express themselves in their own or in a foreign language. Not in this day and age. Not any more. As a matter of fact, I’m not so sure it was the truth in the pre-Internet era either. It was definitely the conviction of the vast majority of the intelligentsia (their deeply-rooted belief — as I said, fundamental, deeply-rooted beliefs are not easily replaceable), but I’m not so sure (not as sure as they seem to be) that it was absolutely necessary to read books in order to achieve any of the above mentioned things.
After reading many books (sometimes only trying as I could not stomach certain books, or authors — their style, or poor editing, or both, or the language in which the book was written) I am of the opinion that certain thoughts, ideas are better presented (laid out) in movies, YouTube videos, documentaries, podcasts, blogs, in Quora answers, etc. than they are in books (I’m talking mainly about books written in an outdated language, but not exclusively).