I had a conversation with one of my co-workers the other day about the Harry Potter series, something that I am very passionate about, and was more than slightly shocked that my co-worker had not read any of them. I have the condition that many people who seek a degree in English have, that everyone around them has had the opportunity to read as much as they have.
The culture that starts it all
If you sat in a literature class towards the end of the semester, there will be at least one conversation about how class has prevented them from reading as much as they usually do. This conversation often devolves into a “Who read the most outside of class” competition. This competition doesn’t dissolve outside of the classroom.
Take a walk in their shoes
During the conversation with my co-worker, I was reminded that reading is not something that is considered a great use of time by a lot of society, and some people just don’t like to read. My own brother, a Political Science and Biology double major at the University of North Carolina still refuses to read anything that isn’t directly assigned in class or related to politics. Higher education fosters the idea that you must be able to read and process large amounts of dense literature to be successful, but that is not true of most people that choose to enter technical professions.
Talking to others who don’t have the same interests as you do, especially when you enter an academic field, is necessary to keep your privledge in check. Read what you want, but don’t force people to listen to your rant about how everyone should be required to read the entire Harry Potter series. It won’t make you many friends (unless you’re talking to an English major).