We are not made to read and doing so is so unnatural that precisely for this reason we have to fight to preserve reading.

We are not made to read and doing so is so unnatural that precisely for this reason we have to fight to preserve reading.

Laying our eyes on pressed tree pulp stained by thousands of ink insects is very unnatural. We are not born predisposed to learn to read, as we are predisposed to speak. Reading is a process that requires training , it is unnatural, as much as air conditioning or GMOs.

Reading, in fact, modifies the circuitry of our brain in a way that oral communication does not . That is why there are anatomical differences between reading brains and illiterate brains. Therefore, cognitive scientists at the University of Pittsburg found 3 large common regions used in all writing systems.

Reading is so good because it is unnatural

Reading caused both a cultural and neuronal revolution. People who learned to read and write therefore developed brains that expanded their intellectual repertoire .

Reading is unnatural because the natural state of the human brain, as well as that of most primates, tends to be distracting. It is enough that any interesting stimulus appears, and our brain will feel interested in it, forgetting what it was doing. However, reading a book requires intense concentration over a long period of time.

In a 2.0 world, we have not stopped reading. In fact, we read more and more. However, we do not read in the same way. We no longer read long, tortuous, flat texts that require sustained concentration power, but short, hyperlinked texts. Reading expert Maryanne Wolf also wonders if, in the face of the images, sounds and hyperlinks that appear in a text on the screen, the constructive component that nests in the essence of reading will begin to change and atrophy and if there will be so much time to process information in a way as deductive, analytical and critical as before.

Books are the intellectual equivalent of antibiotics, additives, or air conditioning. They are a technology capable of diluting a little more our humanity as standard and shaping our brains to reach finisterres that just a few centuries ago were unattainable. That is precisely why we must fight to preserve our reading habits, like someone rowing against the current of a mighty river. The one that rows against the natural, the evolutionary inertia, the artificial … generally better than the natural because we have chosen to do so to pursue our own objectives .