Look guys, the only reason you say that reading is so great, is just so you can mentally elevate yourselves above the average Joe. You berate the new media (Movies, games, and so on) only because they're just that - New. The same thing happens every time something new emerges. Consider how much people value classical music over ANY kind of modern song. This is not to say that classical music sucks, it's just that people need to grow out of elitism and give contemporary forms of amusement some credit.
You know a majority of people describe reading as some sort of cure all. Don't have friends? NEVERMIND you got this book, that book. Just constantly trying to put down people who don't read the same material as them and then labelling them "basic" or "peasant" if they don't get to be a part of your super special book lovers club. I mean get over it. No amount of reading ever made me feel full up on things that I'm lacking in life so its about damn time to accept it and move on.
Reading has been the sole means of learning novel things which were out of your sight/reach or spending pass time for many people especially for the past couple centuries. However with the advent of film industry and later internet, books are not indispensable any longer. Let`s think for a second without any bias. 1 - If reading is for learning: Is there anything that you cannot learn from internet that you can learn from books? 2 - If reading is leisure activity: Are books more fun than internet or movies? The answer can be `yes`for a minority of people to the latter but leisure and fun are pretty subjective anyways. Is there any single reason that makes reading more valuable than other means of knowledge? My answer is a strong `no` to this question.
It appears practically everyone I come across says that reading makes you smarter, it makes life better in so many ways, video games and movies just "rot your brain." Yet their reasoning for saying this is simply because its a tradition, because reading has been around for a much longer time than say film, their parents told them reading would make them smarter, and their parents told them the same thing. But reading for the most part is just a source of entertainment, its like watching a movie or playing a game. Reading a perhaps increase my vocabulary, but if I really just wanted to learn new words I could head over to dictionary.Com and go after their word of the day feature. Most of the time its for plot, its for the story, the drama, the romance, the action, just like your favorite TV show or Movie. Books aren't the only thing that can make you think.
How could an idea that lets you get inside other people's heads, other countries, genders, eras, times, worlds, and universes be bad? It's a way to see the world from all walks of life, to accumulate wisdom, without any personal risk. It's portable, it's simple, it's genius. How could that be overrated?
Reading has become less popular in some ways, as technology has taken over, but it's important that we all know how to read, write, and communicate well with one another. Reading helps us slow down and relax, unlike watching television. Aside from entertaining us, it also educates us, and keeps our brains occupied. In a world where we're all on edge and tied in to technology, reading is a way to unwind and learn at the same time.
Reading is a very beautiful thing to do. People express themselves and their emotions by writing them down in a book. When other people read that book, they are not just reading typed words on a page, they are reading a saga written by a person with life experiences that they interpret into their book; with sentences that occur naturally to them. They let their words flow out of their hearts, and use their brains to come up with interesting plot twists and certain phrases to make you, the reader, happy.
It is a relaxing activity that you can take anytime. It widens your mind, as it gives you another side of the topics you are interested in. It makes you ponder about interesting ideas, instead of just gossiping about who wore what.
You can read anywhere anytime, and reading to your children fortifies your relationship with them. It gives you conversation topics with friends.
It makes your spelling and vocabulary better.
Books are artistic works.
If one thinks that the age old advice to read good books, and inculcate the habit of reading is overrated, then he is definitely wrong. In this world of opinionated people, where everyone judges you, a book in hand is the only friend, who is never judgemental and remains with you in your time of loneliness.