How books can sap the soul and poison readers with ideas
What’s more wholesome than reading? Yet books wield a dangerous power: the best erode self, infecting readers with ideas
“Reading novels is good for you. This is the current wisdom, at least. A 2013 study by the New School for Social Research in New York City attempted to prove that reading passages by Don DeLillo and Lydia Davis had an immediate impact on participants’ ability to identify the emotions of others. Another, at Emory University in Georgia, found that reading novels had the potential to cause heightened ‘connectivity’ in the brain. A third, at the University of Sussex, made the case for books being one of life’s most effective stress-relievers.”
But what if there’s a dark side to books? As this article in Aeon suggests, we point sometimes at the danger of video games. As an author, the only “dark” side I see in books is that of dragging people (kicking and screaming if need be) out of ignorance.
But, in years past, as Tara Isabella Burton shows us, books were more suspect than they are today (not counting weird parents who want some of them taken out of high school libraries).