There are more people on the face of the planet reading more text than at any time in history. Before you get too excited about that, keep in mind what people are reading: memes, texts, social media posts, stupid introductions to music playlists.
Most of the reading that we do these days is analogous to eating fast food. Sure, we’re taking in calories, but that’s pretty much all we’re doing.
I do a whole bunch of the kind of reading, and I enjoy leisure reading–pure entertainment like novels and magazines. But I eat my vegetables, too. I give myself homework assignments like presidential biographies or the Bible in an effort to fend off the brain equivalent of a beer gut and bingo wings. Who knows? Maybe next month I’ll make my way through art history or how to restore a wristwatch.
Do your brain a favor: Pick up a meaty book now and then. Not right now, though. Now’s the time to check out some reading songs:
“Don’t Believe What You Read,” Boomtown Rats.
“I Can’t Read,” Tin Machine.
“In the Mind of the Bourgeois Reader,” Sonic Youth.
“A Note That Read,” Bert Sommer.
“Please Read the Letter,” Robert Plant and Allyson Krauss.
“Reading In Bed,” Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton.
“Why Johnny Can’t Read,” Frank Zappa.
“Read Between the Lines,” Slayer.
There you have it: Eight tracks to accompany your reading. What did I miss? I’m listening.