Recently Neil Gaiman, most famous for his book & animated film Coraline, explored the importance of reading. His focus was how we estimated the number of prison and jail cells we will need in the future. He concluded that the formula was quite simple: figure out how many 11-year-olds were illiterate.
Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.
Although I have a fairly obvious agenda, I need to take a moment to explore Gaiman's view on reading.
First off, the way he mentions you can explore new worlds is exceptional. Many people become worn out by the routine nature of life, and wish they could escape.
Out of all the crazy ideas people come up with to run away from theirs lives, the best one is the simplest: read.
Let your mind be entertained and acquire new information on it's own. It'll relax you. If it's a good book, it'll give you something to look forward to. And hey, maybe it'll even change your perspective, which is a very useful trick in real-life.
Secondly, the concept of discontent is one I've always pondered. It's hard to say if your head has been filled with thoughts or if you've simply opened up your mind.
The more you learn and the more ways you can see things, the more likely
you're not going to get along with masses. You won't agree with everything, which is the core concept of many professions. It's often daunting. I agree with Gaiman, though. Discontent brings more ideas to table, better ones that push along progress.
That's just me. What do you think?
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