‘The Importance of Reading Books’ | Summary and analysis

In Paul Fairfield’s podcast “The Importance of Reading Books”, he explores how reading books are slowly being overtaken by the realms of new technology.

He takes a look at today’s youth and how schools, universities, colleges etc. begin to substitute books with the web and online texts.

Fairfield also tries to find an explanation as to why books are less common today while reminiscing of his own teenage years, where books were a big part of his life.

He proves his point by elucidating how reading books has become strenuous. By speaking of all the new technology involved into our lives distracting us, he says it requires high amounts of concentration to read books.


The sender Paul Fairfield is a Professor of Philosophy at Queens’ University in Kingston, Canada. He initiates the podcast by reminiscing of his own teenage years where he explains how books were a big part of his life. (ll. 5-7)

“There was the stuff I was supposed to be learning in school, and then there was this: These books and these writers. School didn’t inspire me, but those books did.

They lit a fire in a teenager that would grow for decades”. This portrays Fairfield as a passionate and curios teenager and makes him seem knowledgeable and concerned with the development of present-day generations.

This is an example of his usage of pathos, which makes the audience nostalgic and emotional, thus making Fairfield more likeable, relatable and listenable.

He includes his teenage years and his usage of books and this also creates an antithesis when compared to today’s youths that aren’t reading books.

He employs a quote from a student of philosophy to prove his point: (l. 46) “I don’t read books anymore. I go to Google and I can absorb relevant information quickly”.

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