Ever since I was a little kid I was always anti-book. I was told by adults and people around me, "when you grow up you would appreciate them". I despised books. Now I am older but I still retain my anti-book attitude, and it is basically the same attitude that I had when I was younger.
Let me explain what I mean by books. Certainly I am not against all books. I have read books when I was younger. But the books I read were different. I used to read Calculus books, math books, science books when I was still pre-high school. I remember I was reading Linus Pauling's "General Chemistry". I believe I was an 8th grader at that point. (It is a good book, if I was able to mostly understand it then if you want to learn some chemistry this is a book to learn it from). I used to ask my science teacher to pick out books for me to read on basic physics since I enjoyed that kind of stuff. So I was really into science and mathematics. I was very diverse in the science I read when I was younger, I believed I could know it all. Eventually mathematics won me over and I started to concentrate on it and read books on mathematics. Most of my math and science knowledge that have is because of self-study, and it is books and the internet that gets the praise. So clearly it would be hypocritical of me to be against books if I learned so much from them.
But there is a subset of books that I am against. The books I actually learned from I will refer to as "textbooks". Even though some books were not really textbooks I will nonetheless call textbooks. Textbooks are awesome. You can learn so much from them. You will get so much smarter if you buy yourself textbooks and learn from them. When I say "books" I mean literature and novels.
Ever since I was a kid I was unable to understand what is so amazing about literature and to this day I cannot understand. Can you explain to me how reading about Harry Potter actually makes you a more intelligent person? The only thing I see about books is that they are used as a form of entertainment. And that is okay. I have nothing against forms of entertainment. But if they are just entertainment then they are like movies. No one ever claims that movies make you smart. Books were the old age movies before there were any movies. People read them to entertain themselves. And again, this is fine. But this is only fine as long as people do not take it too far and claim that books posses the highest truth of the universe. With every ounce of my reason I cannot see how books make people smarter. People say it teaches you history. Well if you want history then buy yourself a history textbook and learn thousands amount of history than from some fiction book of literature. I know plenty of people who read all the time but there is nothing smart about those people. They just read and know their literature, that is it. So tell me exactly how do books makes you smart?
I guess that deep wisdom of books is one of those truisms that we have to accept. Just like family as I wrote earlier on this blog. Ever since we were little kids we were taught that "family is you blood, they are most important" and so when we grow up we continue to hold on to it. There are many other truisms. The police officer is our friend, how many times you heard that one as a kid? Or that the army fights for our freedom, another truism. Books, it seems to me, is just another kind of truism, parents kept on repeatedly telling us how they make you smart so we immediately assume that people who read a lot are smart.