07 November 2008

Runner Up - TRW Creative Writing Contest

Why Is Reading Important?

Everyone knows Jared Kennedy. He’s infamous. Jared is that kid who always goes around school asking those random questions, saying he’s on a “quest for truth.” Jared’s latest question centers on the importance of literacy – whether reading is actually important or not. (A few say that this question was prompted by a bad grade in English class; others say that Jared is simply an anomaly and refuse to continue attempting to figure him out.) So Jared, in typical Jared fashion, decided to ask that very question: “Is reading important?”

Jared first asked Kurt Schneebly, captain of the Mathletes. The MIT hopeful thought carefully for some minutes, before answering, “Well, obviously reading is important. Without reading, ideas cannot be passed from one person to the nest. As history shows us, this passing of ideas was especially critical in the Age of Exploration, when Europe was trying to establish new colonies in the 1600s. Point is: without reading works from other explorers, Columbus would never have found an incentive to explore. America would not exist.” Jared then proceeded to pose the same question to Marcus, the class clown. “Dude reading is awesome!” exclaimed the jokester. “Everyone things I’m ridiculously funny but honestly I just quote Oscar Wilde without sourcing him.” Marcus winked. Laughing, Jared continued on his search for truth. He proceeded to ask the head of the English Department. Mrs. DuPont answered, “Well without reading I would have no job . . . nor would I have any entertainment.” She grinned wickedly, “You have no idea how amusing it is to watch children attempt to analyze Shakespeare.” Jared then asked the assumed valedictorian of the class of 2009. Jamie responded matter-of-factly, “I read because it boosts SAT scores.”

Satisfied with his collected answers, Jared went home. He picked up Lord of the Rings and proceeded to be drawn into a fantasy world. When Jared arose from his mesmerized state three hours later, he finally understood the importance of reading. Reading provides an unparalleled escape from reality. Reading mandates the exercise of pure imagination, the most liberating and powerful experience in which a human being can partake.

--AnnaLee, a Junior at Immaculate Heart Academy

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