"The Joy of Reading and Writing"
Many people are seen to overlook the importance of reading by simply stating they never have the time or that they just do not think it is worth their time. In Sherman Alexie's and Stephen King's articles "The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me" and "Reading to Write," they argue that reading can and does inspire oneself, while also improving their quality of life. Both authors believe there is always time to read and have changed their lives in many ways, therefore, it will do the same for you. Alexie explains that reading can lead to a more fulfilling life, in general, and allows one to help others who tend to struggle. King attempts to convince the audience that reading is an essential part of life, especially when trying to become a writer and without it an aspiring writer cannot be successful.
In Alexie's article "The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me," he conveys the passion he had for reading as a child. He watched his father read anything and everything and how much he loved the act. Alexie was intrigued by this. So, influenced majorly by his father, Alexie began to teach himself how to read at a very young age. He started with a Superman comic, but could not understand what the words said, he would look at the pictures and say what he would think was the caption and pretend to read along, which is how he learned to read.
Alexie quickly progressed and by the time he was in kindergarten he was reading "Grapes of Wrath" while the other children were attempting to read much lower level literature. Now, Alexie has become a successful writer and enjoys creating literary art.
While reading was very beneficial to Alexie's life, both personally and educationally, there were many hardships he had to endure throughout his childhood. He explains the Native American stereotypes he had to face growing up with a passion of reading. Classmates would make fun of him because he was seen as a nerd, trying too hard and to put it simply, weird. To most everyone in Alexie's reservation, and even others outside the community, Native American children were, seemingly, always dumb. This stereotype made the children believe they were not and would never be smart so all they could do is conform to the stereotype by acting dumb, which was thought to be the norm. In later years, Alexie was more unsettled by this, he knew these kids had potential to be smart but everyone else was telling them the opposite. He needed to encourage them to read and write, which is just what he did. Alexie understood the life changing importance of literature, so, he felt it necessary to help those children who have been taught different to ensure a better education and overall life.
In King's writing, "Reading to Write," he attempts to teach the importance of reading to a different kind of audience, aspiring writers. King explains to the reader that one cannot be successful in a field of writing if they are not taking advantage of the stories already written. He includes the fact that people often say they do not have the time to read, but he does not accept that for an excuse. He then challenges this defense by listing all the times available to pick up a book or a magazine, which includes: waiting rooms, checkout lines, the bathroom, or even listening to an audiobook while driving. King suggest we have all gotten caught up in television and technology in general rather than books, which leads to a lower quality of life. King also points out specific ideas writers can learn from books, that they would not be able to learn elsewhere. By reading others' stories, you can learn new literary techniques, you can assemble a style that works for you, and you can essentially understand what reads well for an audience and what does not.
Reading was, and still is, a major aspect of Stephen King's life. Throughout this excerpt, he explains how reading has shaped him into the successful author he is today. He wants to capture the audience's attention by telling his story so they can then begin to understand the power reading can do. He starts off by telling us about the first truly bad piece of literature he read, and how encouraging it was. He felt confident about his writing because he knew he could do better than someone who did it for a living, which made him want to continue writing. He also includes that he read extraordinary books, which just made him stride to be better.
Literature is an extraordinary art that is constantly being forgotten about in the modern world. Alexie and King make good point in conveying the importance of reading, it can be lifechanging if you let it. So, instead of watching that show you've already seen three times, go read something new!