As a bookish young woman, I can tell you there are fewer things more disheartening on the dating scene than hearing the words “I hate reading” from the lips of a potential beau. I even had one young man say that he viewed reading as a punishment, and then proceeded to mock my reading habits. Yet somehow, he could not fathom why I would decline a second date.
I’ve also had men claim to be well read, only for that facade to crumble faster than my self-esteem.
From my humble experience and the experiences of my fellow bookworms, men who read are more likely to be intelligent, personable, and intriguing. Men who do not read are more likely to come across as dull, unimaginative, and immature.
However, this article is not about me and my disappointing dating adventures. It’s about how setting time aside to read can turn any man into a refined gentleman.
If you frequent this website, then you are a classy gent in the making (or even already close to the finished product). You’re well dressed, you know your way around a bar, and your sports discourse is on point. Commendable, to be sure. You can walk the walk. But if you can’t talk the talk, then you’ll find yourself in a similar position to Cinderella after the pumpkin turned into a latte and you’re standing in a barn instead of a ballroom.
Literally every Ivy league that rejected my college applications have done studies proving beyond a doubt that reading will, overtime, improve your memory, enhance your vocabulary, and sharpen your analytical thinking skills.
Need to sound clever? Good thing Oscar Wilde taught you some zingers!
Boss throw a curve ball at you during an interview? Thankfully, George Orwell gave you some tips on reading between the lines for deeper meaning (plus Super Bowl commercials).
Worried you’ll forget the name of your brother’s wife’s cousin’s third child at the family reunion you were guilted into attending? That won’t be a problem after you’ve learned to untangle the family trees from the works of William Shakespeare.
Want to impress the pretty woman you’re chatting up? Lay some Lord Byron on her. Figuratively, of course. Don’t smack people’s skulls with books.
And that’s just ambiguous fiction. Don’t even get me started on the invaluable resource that is nonfiction. You have a massive, virtually unlimited resource of knowledge to absorb at your fingertips. Utilize it and become your most formidable self.
If the practical reasons mentioned above aren’t enough to entice you, reading also reduces stress, encourages creativity, and teaches empathy.
Now I’m not saying you must abandon all modern luxuries and lock yourself away with the scribblings of ancient philosophers. You can still binge watch your shows and yell at various sports teams. But I highly recommend looking up something you are interested in and reading an article about it; or picking out a book that you can get lost in, just for a little while.
You’ll be glad you did. I always am.
Delaney G. // The Guide