"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! ...When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library."
- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
The novel is almost a lost form in our society. Yea, we read what we absolutely have to for schoolwork, but the line is drawn there. Many can graduate high school and never read a full book. Those who do read for fun stick to "Twilight," "A Diary of a Wimpy Kind" and other "popular" books (but hey, their making movies of them so why bother? :P ). But what about Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Charles Dickens and the other great authors of past generations? It used to be that every young man and woman would have to have a thorough knowledge of classic literature, and now many do not even know the names of these authors.
On The Rebelution an article was recently published, called "Boys Who Read," which explores the decline of literacy in America. “Throughout history more lives have been changed through books than by any other means," They begin. "Books are important. Reading is important. Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, wrote: 'The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.' If that is true are generation is largely brainless. We don't read."
The founding fathers of America made sure that everyone could read, because they didn't want anyone getting swindled by the authorities. It happened to the people of Europe, and the pilgrims didn't want this to happen to America. But our nation has moved from being one of the most literate countries in the world, to one of the most illiterate. And without the ability to read and discern documents for ourselves, we can be easily manipulated.
So what was the last book you read? Did it "renew your mind?" Read much, so that your mind can learn and think and grow. In the wise words of Dr. Seuss, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."