The Reader

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

To read or not to read, that is the question. In today's world of technology, society has taught children that reading is not worth the time put into it. Nearly all of my fellow classmates have only picked up a novel when forced to read it for a class. This disgusts me! In fact, they do not even read the book for knowledge, but read it just to get the grade and move on with their lives. Samuel Coleridge felt the same way about some people and he even classified readers into four categories: sponges, sand glasses, strain bags, and mogul diamonds.

A reader that is a "sponge" absorbs all that they read and return it in the same state, but "only a little dirtied." When a sponge is dumped in a bucket of water, it becomes completely absorbed and full of water for that brief amount of time. Then, when one squeezes the sponge, nearly all of the water is dumped and just a little dirtied.

A sponge is a prime example of an ordinary reader. An ordinary reader often times reads a novel and becomes completely absorbed into it while reading that literary piece. The problem arises when that reader finishes the book and then doesn't do anything with it and only remembers a few things from it. On a few occasions, I have made this mistake, which only has occurred when I am forced to read something for a grade. I feel I gain some knowledge, but I forget about the key essentials of it and just take out enough to "dirty" the sponge.

A "sand glass" reader retains nothing and is content to get through just to get through. An example of this is the average Joe Blow who would rather be a couch potato and watch television than actually pick up a book and challenge his mind. A majority of Americans fit into this category and especially teenagers. Most teenagers feel that they know everything and do not need any more knowledge in their heads. The only time most children read is when they have to do a book report on one and even then it is lackadaisical in quality. I feel that is the exact opposite of what one should do. I want to read as many books as I can so that I gain an intellectual mind that will help me in the future. I do not want to be a lazy, unintelligent human being, but a person who everyone looks idealizes.

A "strain bag" reader retains merely the drags, while the rest of the stuff drips through. This individual reads a novel just for the plot without even worrying about the important matters. It won't really help him get anything out of it. For example, a "strain bag" would read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and say that it is an adventure of a white boy helping a black slave escape down a river. The reader would not get any of the themes or important ideas throughout this book that makes it such a literary classic.

The one reader that is rare, unique, intelligent, noteworthy, and omnipotent is the "mogul diamond." The mogul diamond profits from what they read and enable others to profit from it too. Most of the individuals in our advanced placement English class are "mogul diamonds." We read to learn and profit from our reading. We read for our own benefit and do not just read when a teacher assigns a book report. This type of individual reads The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and gets the true meanings and themes from the story.

In today's world of technology, many of us have decided to go all technology and avoid the difficulty of picking up a book. I have decided to combine the both to give myself the best education and background possible. In conclusion, the ultimate question of "to read or not to read" is still there today and many have decided not to read, but I for one have chosen the latter.