Why I think reading is better than watching movies or playing video games. How I plan to help others think the same.

I am a convert…. Well, sometimes I slip … but I’m still proud to be a convert. Here is my attempt to convert you. If you are already a convert or never had to be converted, then this is my request for you to convert others as well. Now what the bleep is a convert? Allow me to answer that ambiguously.

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One of the greater goals I have set for my writing career is to create content so interesting that it will force non-readers to become readers. I remember the day I became a reader. Now forgive me because I’ll warn you this blog post is chaotic 😉

So many younglings are fascinated by swords and magic and battles, which is why they buy video games and wait in long lines to watch movies (as a student of sociology, I understand this is because of influence. It’s the same reason why little girls like pink). They read comic books and play with toy guns and use action figures to conduct little battles of their own. When these younglings discover why reading is so great, they’ll never stop reading. They’ll discover that a book can take them further into a different world than any video game or movie or comic can.

Before I answer the question “why are books so great?” watch ET, my favourite motivator, describe why reading is so important for success in life:

Why are books so great?

When I first discovered how great books were, I had to build a bookshelf out of bricks and scrap wood just to hold them all. I often compared movies to books while talking with my friends. I always said that books were better because I could actually remember what  happened after. When I watch a movie, I usually forget everything that happened a few years later. But that’s not the case for books. To this day I remember all the images I envisaged when I read my very first chapter book in elementary school. It was The Phantom of the Opera. Since then I’ve watched and forgotten hundreds of movies, but how could I ever forget The Phantom of the Opera?

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To this meme I say “No kids! Keep reading and let me get to the point! I have something important to say! You can go back to your video games after, if you still want to. And learn how to spell!”

Four years ago, when I first decided to take my writing seriously, I bought a typewriter and wrote my first book in six months (Zombie and Awake). It still hasn’t been digitized. It’s just a huge stack of paper waiting to be edited. I have several of those, actually. Maybe I’ll rewrite them one day if I feel like it. I just wrote them because it was fun. I felt like a god creating worlds that only I could see. My characters felt realer than my roommates. I was proud of myself for not going to nightclubs to waste time and money. I was proud of using my time wisely to learn and expand my brain’s potential.

Writing is even more fun than reading, if you ask me, albeit there isn’t as much potential to learn things. Reading has the potential to turn an idiot into a genius. Reading can turn a sot into a priest, a beggar into a millionaire, or a kid into a king! How many self-help books recommend playing video games? Maybe games are a good way to stay out of trouble or quit drugs (that’s what I used them for), but they won’t get you any further in life, unless you’re a youtuber or a tourney champion, of course. So now let me get to the point.

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To those who say reading can brainwash you, I say it takes knowledge to notice when people are misleading you. And knowledge comes from reading!

If you’re passionate about reading and writing, then please help the future of our species by telling all of your non-reader friends why you love reading so much. It worries me sometimes to see children blindly following the trends of popular media. They think it’s cool to be a pimp. They think it’s normal to kill. Readers who know pimps are scummy and killers are messed in the head seem to be outcasts in a world of brainwashed zombies. The cool kids with their tattoos and bizarre clothing look at us like we’re freaks. Meanwhile, with our sexy educated minds we see that, in fact, they are the ones who are being blindly led towards stupidity and freakdom. They are the victims of the media. We need to help them discover that reading is great, not only for the sake of better entertainment, but for the sake of the future! Stop giving your kids video games! Please. Let’s start praising books and show the world how awesome they can be. Let’s make reading cool again. Soon people will see that being stupid and ignorant is no longer fashionable. They’ll want to be lettered and wise like us. They’ll look at new words they’ve never seen and say “Oh damn, that’s a sexy word. I better look it up” instead of saying “Stop using so many big words, you idiot.”

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Imagine how many words will be forgotten if we continue to ignore the trends of these zombies that surround us. A kid can either suddenly realize they’re getting old after playing video games all their life, or they can plan ahead and get to where they want to be by the time they’re old. READ! READ! READ! For the sake of mankind, show your kid a book and help make the world a better place.

People oft say that agriculture is what led us to create these amazing societies we live in, but agriculture will always be second to language. Without language, we’re all doomed anyways. So please, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our allied countries’ welfare, let’s make reading cool again. Let’s no longer turn the cheek while the children of today are taken away blindly by corporations to be brainwashed alone in dark rooms. Let’s show them the light. Let’s illuminate their minds with the power of language!

Non-readers may look at the page of a book and see boring black and white, but once they realize how many colours and images are actually jammed in those words, they’ll thank us and educate themselves because it’s fun. All we need to do is help them. These ridiculous fads of stupidity led by our media won’t squander the potential for a great future for our planet, not as long as I live! Teenagers will be teenagers. Sometimes talking sense into them is hard. But we can’t give up. We can’t continue to watch people around us get sucked away by the media. We need to fight the beast and make reading cool again. We can do it, one convert at a time! We can do it!

Happy daydreaming.

What do I accomplish by writing books?

A friend of mine is often volunteering their time in social programs that aid the poor, so it was daunting when they asked what do I accomplish by writing books. This friend has already made the world a much better place. For example, they’ve built homes in third world countries, donated tons of money to the homeless, helped numerous fundraisers do the same, etc. I may have made that list small but that’s all stuff I’ve never done before. I believe it’s important to leave the world better than how you found it, but this question struck me hard at first because I wondered, “Am I just writing books for myself, or am I making the world a better place, too?”

After much thought, I finally answered the question: What do I accomplish by writing books? Writing a book in itself is an accomplishment, but it’s a selfish one if just left at that. My purpose for writing has always been because I enjoy it. But now that I’ve mused a bit, I believe I’m accomplishing quite a lot by doing what I love. Already I have inspired many non-readers (friends) to read. I entertain people, help kill time that would’ve otherwise been spent staring at walls. I help to strengthen the economy of several countries by selling books. I create amazing stories that can make people cry and laugh and sing. These are decent things to be proud of, but I believe the most significant thing I am accomplishing is helping to preserve language and culture.

The medieval times fascinate the crap out of me. When I write, I go HARD on the old  fashioned vocab! I use medieval words the average reader has never heard before, like arbalest, mangonel and mantelet. I describe my sword fights accurately (using ripostes, parries and remises) and teach my readers things they would otherwise only learn in history text books. When I describe a man going into a castle, I don’t just say “He walked into the castle.” I say “He hailed the guard, waited for the drawbridge and portcullis to free, then entered the bailey and lastly the keep.”

(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Lately I’ve been adding less magic and more realism to my fantasy with the intention of educating readers and entertaining medievalists. My writing isn’t exactly historical fiction, but I still focus on historical accuracy when I’m describing things. So what am I accomplishing here? Well, imagine a kid who wants to read a good fantasy book. If he picks up one of mine, he’ll be forced to use a dictionary and learn a crap-ton about the Middle Ages. For example, he’ll learn you can’t draw a sword from the back, cuts don’t go through armour, arrows don’t make you fly backward, bows don’t creak, women wore the same armour as men, etc, etc, etc! These are all things movies and video games continue to get wrong.

So my job is not only to entertain and sell books, but it’s to educate and preserve knowledge as well. I haven’t released most of the stuff I’ve written yet, so if you’re reading this now you may ask “Where are these educational books he’s talking about?” But if you subscribe to this blog, you’ll see ’em soon enough. Trust me 🙂 I’ve got many treats comin’ your way! Long live history! Blessed be thy reader! Huzzah!

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