Apparently not everyone has a need to read, though. One of the comments by readers of the article said something like, “I used to read, but I got a life and don’t have to read anymore.” Another commented that she knew she should read more than she does, but she just couldn’t get around to it. There were several other comments stating that humans got along just fine for thousands of years without reading, so what’s the big deal about reading, they seemed to imply.
Of course there were others who told us how important reading is to them for both information and for entertainment. Although some of the “proreaders” tried, no one was able to fully convey the true feeling when it becomes an addictive compulsion. Can you really explain to a nonreader what it’s like to think about the book all day and long to get back to it the way you might long to return to the presence of a loved one? Or what it really feels like to not be able to STOP reading? Or that need to sneak a few pages when you’re supposed to be doing something else? Remember the flash light under the blanket when you were supposed to be sleeping?
It’s pointless even to try to explain those sensations to someone who used to read until he “got a life” or to someone who feels she SHOULD read. But can you explain it to anyone? It’s like trying to explain what it feels like to be in love or to explain the taste of chocolate on your tongue.
A book lover just knows. And it doesn’t take long to find out if there’s another one in the crowd.