Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Reading Does

I'm a big fan of vlogbrothers on YouTube which has spawned a general appreciation for John Green, young adult author and one of the brothers. John Green also has a blog, where he posted his recent speech to the ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents) Conference. If you're into literature and how literature should be taught in schools, check out the whole speech. Below is my favorite excerpt.

But let me say this: I think this is why we read. I mean, finally, what does reading do that movies and video games and television do not? I would argue that books, more than other media, allow us to live inside the lives of others because we have to translate scratches on a page into ideas and make the story ours. We become co-creators of the story, and they allow us to inhabit someone else's body for a while. Books give us the faith that others are real, that their joy and pain should matter to us, and that ours can matter to them. In some ways, this confirms our own existence, because most of our mattering is in the context of one another.

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