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viewpoint

Books over men

| Monday, April 13, 2015

Unless you clumsily drop the entire box set of “Harry Potter” on your foot, you won’t suffer too many injuries from books — maybe a paper cut here and there from turning the pages too excitedly. Compare that with the lasting emotional pain onset by heartbreak, and you will see that literature clearly does less damage than men; in fact, it has the potential to better your life, even after you have quite literally turned the page and started a new chapter.

Yes, there are plenty of fish in the sea, but the 130 million books are relatively easier to swim to than the 3.3 billion men in the world. For busy college students such as yourself, simplicity is key, and a trip to Barnes and Noble is far less inconvenient and confusing than a stop by “Speed Dating Night” at Legends.

Bookstores, for instance, organize different pieces of literature into their respective genres so that readers always know what they’re getting themselves into; additionally, the inside cover previews what you can expect as you follow the protagonist’s exciting journey. Men, unfortunately, are not sorted neatly into categories (gentlemen, jerks, funny, intelligent) and are not accompanied by such helpful descriptions, leaving physical appearance to serve as an initial judge of character. Books, however, demand to be assessed based on what’s inside, making them a far less self-absorbed option concerned solely with outward attractiveness.

It’s no secret that you can read several books in the same week without any judgment, or that you can end your fictional journey a few chapters in without feeling an ounce of guilt. Plus, nobody throws a fit when you lend some of your favorites to your good friends.

Best of all, you can bring almost any piece of literature wherever you go, without paying for an extra meal or plane ticket. Books aren’t selective; they will do whatever you want. They will always keep you company and will never cancel plans last minute. Why would you invite a man on vacation when a book fits so perfectly in your carry-on bag?

Their accessibility and free schedules make books the easy choice, but some of you make the change in your lives, you might think “I wouldn’t be able to post my weekly #mancrushmonday Instagrams.” Rest assured, that’s for the best. Books are humble and independent, and they don’t expect constant attention. They understand that you will make time for them whenever you can, but that if you have a fifteen-page paper to write or an organic chemistry exam to prepare for, you cannot socialize for long. And sure, you cannot exactly dress up and have a night on the town with a copy of “Pride and Prejudice,” but novels can earn you a VIP pass into one of South Bend’s trendiest weekend gatherings: Book Club.

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

Contact Martha