By Walter Mosley
The Wall Street Journal
Reading is among the most distinctive practices in human history: the study of abstract symbols used to render beliefs, experiences, physical descriptions, theoretical explanations and ideas in books and newspapers, on billboards and even on TV screens.
Written language rigidly codified and yet continually changing affords us one of the few chances we have to exercise and challenge our intelligence and our minds, our creativity and our capacity for true empathy. Reading forces us to interpret the material world through a nonconcrete medium—the written word. These interpretations force an active, even an aggressive use of our minds. This usage increases our appreciation of knowledge and possibly our sophistication.
This uniquely human tradition is infinitely complex, equaled only by the experience of love and learning on the job. The stories and the content gleaned from reading are different for any person picking up…
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