Neil Tambe

Let’s go.

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Reading for fun

Why read?

The practical crowd may argue that literacy is important because it’s a necessary skill to function in society and earn a living. Reading is fundamental. We can’t be productive compliant members of society if we don’t read.

Womp. Womp. Womp.

What a terrible way to convince someone to read who doesn’t read or can’t.

Here’s how I would persuade someone instead.

East of Eden changed the way I see myself and the world. I love pulling up Wikipedia on anything from Roger Federer to the Fermi Paradox, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Reading to my son at bedtime is arguably the best part of my day, every day. You can read mysteries, or about your own family history. Talking to other people about books is so fun. Reading has made me laugh and cry so damn much, and it’s great.

You can read a letter from your mother and father, long after they are gone. Or you can read a letter from your wife, that makes you feel full of love and soul, over and over and over again. The letters I have from Robyn are among my most prized possessions.

You can read poems or ancient religious texts that make you feel more human.

I do care about literacy. I think 100% literacy is an extremely important goal. But come on. How can anyone think they’re going to convince someone to care about reading by talking about how it can help them get a job or get into a famous college? There are so many more emotionally resonant ways to persuade someone that reading is awesome.

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Please do say hello: neil.tambe[at]gmail[dot]com