At first, I disagreed, but of course, it's because I'm in school where it write and read for course, write this blog, read the blogs Curtie writes, and read Capote, Didion, and Zola. Well, doesn't everyone? Now that's all just bougie, self-serving rubbish.
Recalling various snippets of words between classes with student peers, I realized many pride themselves on how little they read. They smile, saying they "get away" with reading as little as possible.
One friend boasted she passed her Humanities and Literature courses by only using online synopsis she found. Or, she bought $5 blue or yellow-striped books when necessary; she also lamented she had to really read for a genre (Detective Fiction) class we took together. This was because the reading list was so specific and rather obscure that she had to read the books for the class.
Another friend told me he would start reading once he entered graduate school. Of course, he'd said that also thought the exact same thing when he was in high school: "I'll read when I get to college."
Well, ungraduate work is now over for him, though there is no doubt he'll attempt to do the same for his graduate courses; he'll scrape the internets or buy those yellow-striped or bright blue synopsis cheater books. Don't even ask me about conversations with current schoolteachers, taking graduate classes at night, who beam that they've found the holy grail of laminated literature, more plastic cheats at the UTEP bookstore. You know the rest.
Yes, Mr. Gioia, this is a nation of readers-by-proxy. We confine our reading to flat laminated sheets in order to pass our classes. For all our sakes, I hope this city runs with open arms to embrace your program, The Big Read.