5 Reasons Why Your Reading Comprehension has Decreased because of List Articles Like this One

  1. You are attracted by simplified lists that usually substitute in depth analysis or intricate ideas, for an over-simplified form of information on a topic that might otherwise be considered complex and/or nuanced. It seems like a lot of these list articles are quite popular these days: so easily shared, so easily re-distributed, takes only a minute, does not require context, background, or short term memory. 

2. You have forgotten what a book smells like. These list articles may start looking attractive after a long time without smelling a book (and/or maybe even a real newspaper.) The same way Chicos Tacos starts to look attractive after you’ve gone more than 24 hours without eating. An old fashion book [list articles don’t always require proof, research, or evidence] releases endorphins, creating a physical reaction to the very act of reading, somehow encouraging curiosity and excitement. Also, if you read something that is really bad or makes you angry, you can literally throw a book against the wall (a quite satisfying act) without costing yourself a few hundred dollars. One cannot do this with an ipad, iphone, or laptop. 

3. You consider Spark Notes Literature. I knew a young person recently who is attending college. He admitted to me that he hadn’t read a book since he was in Elementary School. The last book he remembers clearly dealt with a big red dog. While Clifford had a lot of good life lessons, particularly in the “I’m different” category and "all you need is love" life lessons, I don’t think it’s ideal to have this voting age adult consider that the last book he read. He also confessed that whenever he is told to read a book he just “reads it in Spark Notes.” It is very difficult to have a conversation with this young person because he is constantly on his phone. When I point this out he says, “sorry I was texting my probation officer.” 

4. You take a lot of selfies. If you are a selfie-prone individual, the act of forgetting the self may have gotten considerably harder. A book requires one to forget the self, to immerse in another reality without the hyper-awareness that “I, am in fact, reading a book.” The very concept of selfies, in some ways, destroy the ability to be anywhere without the nagging impulse of wanting to record yourself being there.

5. You have not supported, read, or heard about the Rio Grande Rift magazine. The Rift is a new magazine in El Paso that is looking for a new way of doing things, to separate itself from the inaccurate narratives provided us by insert name of local publication here. The Rift is an alternative magazine just starting out and looking for wild voices to amplify its sound. Check out www.theriogranderift.com for more information.  Read Ryan Perry's Fistic Dialectics- a different view of Mixed Martial Arts, or Sylvia's book reviews,  or my thoughts on CrossFit or the Rift's Shutter Speed Series, where photographs capture our city. Check out Mari's Among Other Things, where I discuss a whole variety of topics including what's wrong with our city,  the film Sicario, and recent local plays. 

Mari GomezComment