Why Read?

Dante Muñoz May 2021

I’ve been wondering what makes reading so impactful, fiction or non-fiction. Compared with watching media in video format, why do people who read feel so strongly about it?

I think it’s because of how conceptual reading is. Words are the building blocks of thoughts. For example, consider how difficult it is to think about those feelings we don’t have words for.

So reading becomes a conceptual link between your mind and the author’s. While documentaries can provide evidence clearly and compellingly, the words of their narration and interviews are what frame that evidence conceptually.

A glitzy TV show can show you a powerful scene with a beautiful setting, costume design, and soundtrack. That level of stimulation can feel infinitely more compelling than words on a page, but an essay can explain why all of that felt so compelling to you.

Reading is what elevates us from programmable consumer masses being entertained by flashing screens to conscious creators and participants in society.