The other night I had a dream I ran for Book President.
I don't remember much about the dream except that just before I woke up I dreamed I was on a big stage, like the one at the DNC, and I was giving a speech. The conservative party had just made a statement saying adults shouldn't read YA, so I responded and said: "people should read whatever they want."
I'm sure this dream was fueled by a combination of reaching the end of season 6 in my binge watch of The West Wing, reading What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton, and, of course, my love of books. But it did get me thinking about what my beliefs are in terms of books and, if there really were such thing as Book President, what my platform would be...
- I believe people should read whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want, and not be shamed or judged for their decisions.
- I believe all forms of reading are valid––whether paper book, ebook, scroll, or whatever.
- I believe YA is for everyone and that erotica and romance are nothing to be ashamed about.
- I believe you can't determine a person's intelligence by what they choose to read for fun.
- I believe all genres contain good books.
- I believe good quality self-published books exist.
- I believe that for every book written, there is at least one person that book is meant to touch.
- I believe there is at least one book for every single person and that those who think they don't like to read just haven't met the right book.
- I believe books have the power to make people more empathetic, kind, and understanding.
- I believe books have the power to shape minds even more than traditional education.
- I believe books are the cheapest way to go on vacation.
- I believe literacy is a human right.
- I believe readers have a responsibility to acknowledge the publishing industry's problems and use their book-buying dollars to uplift historically marginalized voices.
- I believe readers have a responsibility to hold authors accountable for their words when those words are factually incorrect or perpetuate harmful stereotypes that affect people's lives in untold negative ways.
- I believe books should be well-cared for, but that caring for them should not take precedence over the reader's ability to interact with them. i.e., don't use a book as a coaster, but if highlighting, underlining, or writing in the margins helps you better engage with the text, do it!
- I believe it's perfectly acceptable to read purely for entertainment.
- I believe it's perfectly acceptable to read purely for education.
- I believe "required reading" is simultaneously necessarily, enlightening, and disheartening. It should not be required that students read certain books––they should want to.
- I believe equitable access to books is a human right.
- I believe bookstores and libraries should be every bit as common as grocery stores.
- I believe books should be repurposed or recycled when they are damaged irreparably and no longer readable.
- I believe a mass market paperback has as much value as a first edition hardcover signed by the author because it's what's inside that matters.
- I believe it's okay to judge a book by its cover if you want to.
- I believe everyone should have an answer to the question "what is your favorite book?"
- I believe books have the power to change lives.
- I believe libraries come in every shape and size.
- I believe books are friends.
- I believe in never going to bed alone because you can read before bed and fall asleep with a book in your hand.
- I believe that every known subject is chronicled somewhere in a book.
- I believe in the power of books to help people feel seen, heard, and valued.
- I believe reading can be a meditation, a prayer, a religion, and a salvation.
- I believe that while books can't solve every problem, they can solve most of them.
- I believe books are the secret of the universe––no more, no less.
Too bad there's not such a thing as Book President because I'd say I have a strong platform.
What are some of your beliefs about books and reading? Share them in the comments below!
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