Why We Need to Read and Discuss Books Now More Than Ever

A thoughtful post from Meg Dowell that speaks about books and the benefits of discussing them with others.

Novelty Revisions


Sometimes things happen around us that make us feel helpless and sad. What power do we really have to make the world better? It seems like books aren’t enough to make the kind of difference all of us, deep down, want to make.

Writing, reading and discussing the words we come across is about as constructive as it gets. Ideas are just ideas until they’re put on paper, but their power is so often underestimated. Perhaps we don’t always have the right words to respond to tragedy or even the good things that happen, but someone else often does.

Here’s why, now more than ever, we should make an effort to come together, to read and discuss our thoughts, to have a well-informed, unbiased worldview, to improve the way we look at other people and think about how they might be feeling.

Reading teaches us to care about other people


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  1. I like this. A while back I heard a factoid: some romance readers, I was told, read seven romance novels a week. My immediate reaction: “That’s not reading; that’s using.” Nothing wrong with romance, like there’s nothing wrong with ice cream, but seven romance novels a week doesn’t leave much room for anything else, or time to digest or discuss what one does read. Talking about a book with someone else who’s read it can be such a high. Like comparing notes with someone who’s been on the same journey, looking at things from different angles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seven a week sounds absolutely insane. It must be bubblegum for the eyes, no substance there at all.

      I always enjoy discussing books, it’s just a shame most people in my circle don’t read a whole lot. You’d think finding a like-minded community online to talk books with would be simple, but so far all the ones I’ve come across have been more akin to feminist support groups, all too afraid to say anything that might offend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some people are also afraid of “not getting it,” of maybe looking stupid. As it it were an English class. That’s a great way to kill a discussion before it starts. Come to think of it, that’s one thing that makes it hard to find good second readers for one’s own work. The best ones are the ones who are willing to talk about how they responded to this or that part and maybe think about why.

        Liked by 1 person

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