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In Defense of Books - How Reading Perseveres (By Mr. Michael Bernard Bergin)

Updated: May 27

An old warship

(Disclaimer: The guest posts do not necessarily align with Philosocom's manager, Mr. Tomasio Rubinshtein's beliefs, thoughts, or feelings. The point of guest posts is to allow a wide range of narratives from a wide range of people. To apply for a guest post of your own, please send your request to mrtomasio@philosocom.com)



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The love of reading endures, thriving not only in Europe but also in the U.S. Whenever I visit websites dedicated to literature, poetry, or perhaps philosophy and psychology – especially the works of Freud and his contemporaries – I'm heartened by the continued interest in these timeless thinkers.


The great European philosophers, from the French and German giants of the past to the exiled intellectuals who found refuge in pre-war Paris, never allowed their critical voices to be silenced by the Nazis.


(Mr. Rubinshtein's note: Research revealed that a group of writers and academics, called the White Rose movement, indeed opposed the Nazis during WW2 by writing. That is known as clandestine literature. We can infer from this that literature can exist as something elementary even in the most authoritarian of regimes).

Today, their works (the timeless thinkers') are being introduced to high school students, planting seeds of intellectual curiosity for those who may pursue further education in philosophy, literature, and any other language, like english. This feels almost revolutionary, in the most delightful way.


In my own small way, I encourage everyone to explore their local library. Don't be shy to ask for help – it's okay if it's your first visit, or even if it's been decades. Simply tell the staff your area of interest, and they'll be happy to guide you. If a particular book isn't on the shelves, they can check the system, request it from another library, or even order it for you within a few days. And if you're looking for a specific new release, they can put in a purchase request to the head librarian. Thanks to computers and the internet, libraries have truly become treasure troves of knowledge.


It's important to remember that computers and books are not rivals. They occupy distinct niches, each offering unique experiences. The quiet satisfaction of holding a book in your hand, settling into a comfortable chair with a drink, and losing yourself in its pages for hours – there's something irreplaceable about that. And I've heard of inspiring initiatives where older people with failing eyesight learn to read books on computer screens with the help of assistive technology.


Personally, I see no need for one to replace the other. They can coexist and complement each other beautifully. I appreciate Mr. Tomasio's efforts make the world still resume reading philosophy and reading in general with his Philosocom website.


I offer one last suggestion:


If you've accumulated a personal library and find yourself running out of space, please consider sharing your books. Instead of letting them gather dust on your shelves, fill boxes and donate them to charity shops. They'll be delighted to receive these used books, and who knows, you might even discover some new gems on the shelves while you're there. Remember, the joy of reading can be multiplied through sharing.


Books have been with us for millennias, weathering the sands of time. And with their enduring power to inspire, inform, and entertain, I believe they have still bright future ahead, due to the reasons I mentioned. Reading can also lead to new connections with other people.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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