Yes, indeed this is a dumb question!
Do you think reading is the best
way to intelligent and have life
turn into success? When you think about
it, if you don’t read much does that mean you are ignorant and stupid?

One who doesn’t read is assuredly ignorant, but not necessarily stupid.

Are you saying if you CHOOSE not to read or you CAN’T read?

O! Mighty Cecil, converge thy powers on our lost souls, for we all have ignorance by degree. It is by reading and thinking and writing we hone our skills that we may be blessed with thy shining countenance smiling on our efforts.

Dammit, Judge Judy is half-over!

Having just listened to (yeah – book on tape, I know it’s ironic) to one of the last chapters of The Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan, in which he talks about literacy, I think the answer is indeed perhaps the best way to gain knowledge.

He told the story of Fredrick Douglas (sp?), an escaped slave who taught himself to read and ended up being a great orator and spokesman against slavery.

I can’t begin to even sum up much of what he said, but he related statistics about how the more literate people make more money in general, less literate people have a greater chance of ending up in jail, etc. His basic premise was that literacy = freedom.

Now, that doesn’t mean that people who don’t read much are ignorant and stupid, but if you read more, you probably have a better chance of knowing things that the non-readers wouldn’t know.

But if you don’t read or just plain
hate it does that mean you just won’t
be a knowledgeable, well spoken person who leads a better life?
But you are saying not necessarily are you stupid or ignorant, explain please…

Mental exercise strengthens the brain the way physical exercise strengthens the body, and reading is a good way to exercise the brain. (Even the brain candy I read) It is not the only way to strengthen the mind, however books are cheap (unless you read really fast), portable and ubiquitous.

Not only will reading help, but reading to your children will significantly improve their intelligence. Smithsonian had an article a couple of years back about an organization whose purpose was to convince parents to read to their children. The most awe-inspiring bit was about a couple who had a Downe’s syndrome child. They read to the child every night. When the child entered first grade, he or she was able to keep up with the normal children. Wow.
Now for success - intelligence doesn’t guarantee success. Recent research indicates that social intelligence (knowing how to get along with people) is much more critical to success than intelligence, knowledge or other factors.

IMO, the best way to be successful is to know what success is for you, work hard and learn to understand & get along well with people.

I’m sure there are other ways to exercise your mind along with reading?
I think the best way to go is to have
a balanced life, this is what makes
one successful and smarter…
Like read, surf the internet, watch tv,
get a job, talk to people, watch the news, etc…

Don’t you think reading helps you better communicate, become more
knowledgeable, informed, etc…
If you don’t read much then it might
be hard to communicate well, stay
informed, etc…

Is reading essential to a successful life? Of course not. Not unless one is considering financial or intellectual gains to be the only measure of “success.”

Billions of people now, and throughout history have lived the good life without the benefit of literacy. It is certainly increasingly difficult to do so, however.

Philosophical questions of this magnitude, “what is success” or “how do I lead the good life” have been topics occupying man since the dawn of civilization.
You can read all about them at your local library, should you be fortunate enough to have one and, of course, know how to read.

mikNY said:

Well, if you don’t read, how do you plan to be knowledgeable? By watching TV? Will you get your health advice from some actress on Montel? Or find out about world events in the 30 seconds on Headline News?

As mentioned before I said that I think
living a balanced lifestyle is the way
to go these days…
This makes you smarter and knowledgeable like do reading, go to a concert, wash the dog whatever!

Of course reading alone doesn’t lead to a successful life!? That and among other things is what counts…

[[I can’t begin to even sum up much of what he said, but he related statistics about how the more literate people make more money in general, less literate people have a greater chance of ending up in jail, etc. His basic premise was that literacy = freedom.]]

I would say this is more association than cause and effect.

One of the great turning points in human history occurred when Johann Gutenberg invented movable type.
Books could be mass produced. Knowledge could be made available to large numbers of people. Subject matter could be determined by printers looking for a profit, instead monks (handwriting their bibles)with an agenda.
What you do with a book is your affair. What books have done to our history
is another story.
This is my opinion.

JillGat said:

And I probably should have noted that Sagan indicated the same thing. :slight_smile: But it’s still a very interesting correlation.

Doug Bowe
Member posted 07-10-99 12:33 AM

Johann Gutenberg? How about “…when movable type was invented in China.” That happened a couple of hundred years before Johnboy did his stunt, as did use of movable metal type in Korea.

Well, mikNK… I’m trying to phrase this in a nice way… [ahem]: A little more reading on your part might help you WRITE a bit more literately.

I agree with your point about a well-balanced life, though.

Jess (who probably reads TOO much)

Jess, you don’t read too much until you’ve lost a job from reading .

I haven’t … yet.

I’d like to throw in Mark Twain’s $.02 here, if I may.

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
– Henry David Thoreau