by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Reading books, and other edifying materials, broadens and exercises the mind and also enriches one's knowledge, especially if those books are well researched in a way that television, for instance cannot do.
In the age of the Internet and electronic media of all kinds, from radio, television, news on demand, and much more this may sound like old-fashioned advice but reading is by far better than getting flooded by other sources.
People still read, that is true, real book as much as e-books, but a great number of them no longer do and when it comes to new and information many seem to rely of the controlled media, whether print, broadcast or visual rather than anything alternative where truth can actually be found.
Turn off the TV and read good books, interesting journals and material from all different sources to broaden your mind and understanding of things present and past.
Many historical novels, for instance, are better researched, than many a history book, even though characters may be more-or-less invented and those that are not invented may have dialog created for them the truth of which we cannot be certain. They also, in your mind's eye, manage to recreate the atmosphere of those times, something which no history book can and which even a movie cannot.
Other books, such as George Orwell's “1984”, for instance, can warn us of the possibilities of things going wrong in the future if we are not very careful indeed. And, alas, his predictions are more and more coming true in the early twenty-first century which means that he may have been ahead of his time in the date but otherwise almost spot on.
Biographies of people of history very often also are a most edifying read and can teach us a great deal and the same goes for great autobiographies and books of travel, adventure, and other things.
But, whatever your choice, chose to read. Reading broadens the mind and reading may even – the gods forbid – make you change you perspective and your perception of things, be it society or whatever. Presently we are still allowed to read almost anything; it may not remain that way.
Censorship dos exist, even in our so-called free and democratic countries, as can be seen by the ban the British government under Margaret Thatcher enforced of the book “Spycatcher”. It was simply too dangerous for British readers to be allowed to read. So, it came in from abroad, and was read, but, theoretically, the possession even of it would have been a felony, though it was not being enforced.
That was before the Internet and the possibility to order almost anything from anywhere. Probably one of the many reasons why the powers-that-be wish to “regulate” (read that as restrict) the Internet so that they can control what we can read and what not.
The invention of the printing press, especially the Gutenberg press of moveable type, was the greatest danger to the establishment and books and now the Internet is the latest step.
Therefore, use the freedom to read for as long as you have got it... read... Turn off the TV, put away the rags masquerading as newspapers and read real news and books, and even Blogs.