You know, when I was a kid no one asked me if I wanted to learn how to read - they just forced it upon me without so much of an "as you please". And that's just crap. Do we really live in a country where 5 year olds (yeah, I don't know how old kids are when they learn to read) do not have the right to decide whether or not they want to becomes literate? We get voter pamphlets, TV and radio ads, phone calls, and political platforms shoved in our faces every day listing out the pros and cons of each square on the ballot, but no one lays out the pros and cons of literacy to children.
But kids, I want to be the first to tell you that reading is not all its cracked up to be. The number one drawback is this: WHEN YOU'RE LITERATE, PEOPLE EXPECT YOU TO READ. How is that fair?
All of a sudden you're bombarded with reading lists, standardized tests, book reports, essays, biographies, poetry, and other forms of coma-inducing boredom. And, when you're stupid enough to hang around academia, you're assigned the worse thing imaginable: journal articles. And again, you're expected to read them, remember them, and cite them when appropriate. Oral traditions worked well for centuries and millennia, what was so bad about that?
And what's just a slap in the face is when you do find a book that you want to read, you don't have time to read it. Or, its been so long since you've read anything entertaining, you get absolutely obsessed and can't function until you finish the book. Then, you realize that the book is part of a series, and that you don't have time to read anymore books in the series until the spring.
I should have been a goat herder.
But, on the pro side, here's something pretty awesome about being literate: