It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Yet, yes, you read me correctly: reading can seriously damage your health and that of others.
1. Reading causes you to go blind
That is scientific fact: 30% of the world is currently myopic, and individuals who spend considerable time reading are more likely to develop myopia faster than the non-reading species. Coincidence? I don’t think so … Forget that other possible causes may include “working at a computer,” or “doing other intense close visual work” because I think we have a perfect culprit here, especially with the boom of e-readers and online magazines: reading. Guilty as charged. Based on current trends, this worldwide myopic statistic will grow to 50% by 2050. I don’t know about you but I already suffer from hyperopia. If my physical-science assumptions are correct, farsightedness plus nearsightedness equals blindness, and I’m not in such a rush to go completely dark. To prevent yourself from being another brick in the statistics, they say that the solution is as easy as a walk in the outside daylight. So, hurry up and drop your book, enjoy the sun; it’s summer after all, and who wants to read in the quietness of a park in the shade of a tree anyway? You could look up at the sky and maybe catch an eclipse with the naked eye. Why not?
2. Reading makes you ugly
I can’t certify that this can go under “scientific fact,” but cool people don’t read, and that is a fact all the same. The problem with bookworms is that they don’t go out much. They often prefer to sit comfortably in a chair, maybe with a glass of wine, and read quietly rather than go outside — or rather than do anything else, for that matter. The lack of physical activity, however, is one of the most common causes of obesity, and drinking habits sure don’t improve on that. Therefore, reading causes obesity and alcoholism, which in turn increases the risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and infertility. (But never read the fine print, lest you go blind. See above.) You wanted a scientific fact? The lack of physical activity caused by reading causes 1 in 10 deaths. But besides obesity and alcoholism, have you looked at yourself lately? *Looking down at myself this very moment …* I’m wearing the same hooded sweatshirt I slept in, panties and a single sock (the other one must’ve slipped off during the night, and pulling the other off requires too much energy), my hair is not done (not on my head nor anywhere else), neither is my face, and I don’t plan to take a shower unless someone plans to show up. Admittedly, people look just as bad when they watch Netflix alone, but at least they’re watching Netflix and that’s trending! And what about your face? When was the last time you took a close look at your face? It’s so engraved with fatigue you look like a panda, a panda wearing a wig literarally inspired by Gone with the (Strong) Wind I might add. Not sure you’ll get away with this … Well, OF COURSE, that novel was thrilling and heartrending and everything! That’s the trick! But is that good enough reason for you to have to gone to bed so freaking late last night (and the last three ones) to finish one last chapter? You’re sleep deprived. I don’t think you need another scientific fact here …
3. Reading can annihilate your social and emotional life
Reading increases your expectations vis-à-vis your surroundings. Indeed, you will meet many characters with innumerable qualities throughout your readings. Some characters will have everything going for them and you’ll expect nothing less from the non-fictional characters you interact with on daily routine: you want them beautiful, rich, cultivated, educated, witty, adventurous, mysterious … But you have to remember: they’re not real. These perfect people don’t exist. Plus, you can’t be too harsh judging others when you yourself look like a fat, alcoholic, and black-eyed (albeit blind) panda as hairy as a gorilla. If you persist in reading, you may fall in love with someone from the past (such as the Victorian era) and you will then have the terrible feeling of being born in the wrong time. But even if you still feel you belong to the right century, it may be difficult when you return from your locked-in-house summer vacation where you’d been traveling lands and oceans with the greatest persons, and your friends (sorry, I really meant colleagues here; you don’t have time for friends) will have nothing more to tell you than their in-cre-dible sunbathing sessions on the beach. It is likely that you’ve become a bit antisocial. And worse, the big word might be out: You’re a nerd. Therefore, piece of advice here; if you’re looking for wedding material, make sure you hide your passion for reading beforehand. Once the “in sickness and in health” part is safely behind you, you can come clean after the fact with the lucky person: obesity, alcoholism, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers, osteoarthritis and infertility.
4. Reading puts you in ridiculous situations
Of course, in your quest to find a wedding partner, you’ll have to get over the “ridiculous” aspects of reading, for reading will cause a number of embarrassing situations. At one time or another in your reading experience, you will find yourself laughing alone in the subway, with a high possibility that the other passengers will be looking at you. There will also be some shameful books, the ones you’ll consider hiding that book behind a bigger and smarter one, and then, when you’ll find the courage not to be ashamed of your reading, you’ll get reproachful looks. Additionally, you take the risk while watching a movie of laughing at literary references that you only will have spotted. You can’t laugh at that; it’s not what you’re supposed to enjoy in a movie. And if you’re a teenager, you can’t say to your classmates that you like books, let alone show it. My 12-year-old daughter got into trouble with a teacher because she read in class. Sure, her work was done, but why didn’t she do what every other teenage should do in class: talk to your mates or play silently with your phone? Shame on her. (Yes, that’s another thing that you shouldn’t take too lightly: if you’re a bookworm, they’re a good chance that your offspring is doomed too. Not to mention that they risk to outsmart you.) At last, I must warn you to be careful not to let your love for Jane Eyre or Captain Ahab lead you to buy a pocket watch or other sorts of trinkets that will make you look as if you’re really back from the past. Come to think of it, that may actually be your best chance to find someone as nerdy as you are — and live happy ever after?
5. Reading leads you into poverty
This is not new: books are expensive. The more you read, the more you realize a mathematical fact: books are even more expensive in the long run. In addition to the books themselves, there’s all the room you need to store them and expose them (because let’s be honest here, they do look good and appealing on those shelves.) And that’s expensive, too: first you buy new bookshelves, then you build a new room, and the next thing you know, you buy a new house and it soon becomes the new library in town. But how do you make this library profitable? Bookworms don’t borrow books, they want buy them, like you, and why would people who don’t read go to the library? Yeah, yeah, I hear you: you’re richer with more emotions in your heart than most of the people around you. But it is worth it? Is it how you measure someone’s wealth? No. You’re just broke.
6. Reading is a waste of time
Reading is a waste of money, and a waste of time: When are you even going to read those ten books you bought just yesterday? All you have to gain from reading so much is a growing curiosity, a lifting of your spirit when it’s broken, knowledge on specific events that most people won’t care to discuss during dinner, and an extravagant imagination. Stop wasting your time: if the book is good, there’s gonna be a movie, so why bother? There’s always a movie. It’s a fast-paced world we live in, who has the time to spend several nights in a row on a book when a story can be told in two mere hours? Just wait. Postponing and procrastinating are all we know today anyway.
Long story short: voracious readers are ridiculous, fat, poor, myopic drunks who’ve found nothing better to do than waste their time. If you need, I’ve got all the arguments, too, as to why you should never get married or have kids or take a trip to the Caribbean.