Friday, March 9, 2012

Why Everyone Ought To Have An Obsession With Their Books

The other day I was watching an episode of Seinfeld and in the episode (The Ex) there is a scene where George is explaining to Jerry that he has just broken up with his girlfriend and he has one small problem. He has left some books at his now ex-girlfriend’s house. George asks Jerry to go to his ex- girlfriend’s house to pick up his books because he doesn’t want to see her again. Jerry says, “So forget about the books.” Jerry proceeds to ask George “Did you read them?” George says “Yes” and Jerry goes on to ask, “What do you need them for?” George says “They’re books, they’re my books.” Jerry goes on to say “What is this obsession everyone has with books? They put them in their houses like they’re trophies; what do you need them for after you have read them?” George finishes the scene by saying “They’re my books!”

As the scene unfolded, I thought about how Jerry compared books to trophies and it occurred to me that Seinfeld’s comparison was not that far off. As an avid and voracious reader, I have a library of books that I have owned for more than thirty years (I’ve now begun downloading on Kindle too). So I looked up the word trophy at and the second definition actually supported Seinfeld’s comparison. The number two definition read as follows: anything serving as a token or evidence of victory, valor, skill, etc. As my critically thinking mind thought about that definition, it became clear to me that Seinfeld’s comedic view of people keeping books in their houses like they are trophies is indeed correct. For each book that is read from prologue to epilogue or beginning to end or table of contents to glossary is indeed a victory won with the skill of reading and every facet of it (comprehension, decoding, critically thinking, paraphrasing, predicting, accessing prior knowledge, etc. etc. etc.). The completed book on one’s shelf is truly a token of victory and is indeed a trophy.

I truly hope people view their books as trophies because just as athletic trophies are valued and worshipped, so ought the number of books that one has read over the course of time be valued, acknowledged and shown off as well. We are oh so proud when we have earned a trophy for being the best (I still have my little league baseball trophy from 1975), so why should we not be proud to show our trophies of knowledge? Seinfeld gave me something to critically think about and I hope he has given you something to think about to.  Get your number of trophies up. Oh and while I have you here, one way to get your number of trophies (books) up is to listen to me every Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. EST on and WP88.7 FM during my show The Reading Circle with Marc Medley (shameless plug.....hey it's my blog). I host a radio show where I interview authors from around the world giving them the opportunity to showcase their work and bring to you some extremely interesting reading. I have many listeners who ultimately purchased and read the books by the authors they have heard on my show. As always, I welcome your commentary in the comment section of the blog and remember that old adage "Readers are Leaders."

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