Far too often, readers want the immediate gratification of plot and action so they can finish the book quickly and move on to the next without bothering about the hard words.
Yea, quite true. I fear that it's this very aspect of our quick-thrill culture that causes people to not enjoy literature as much as they could. I wrote some on this instant gratification mindset in a blog
here a while back.
As far as improving vocabulary, I can't think of a better way! It seems a large amount of communication in contemporary society has been "dumbed down" in the language that it uses; using substandard verbiage over-generalizes, and in so doing marginalizes communication.
We see examples every day - many of them here on the forum. Not every esoteric words need be used, but I've found that many of them express invaluable subtle overtones that improves communication effectiveness ten-fold.
There's an ineffable quality to reading a good, well-written book. It's almost a customizable sort of experience that becomes deeply personal to the reader; by visualizing what's happening - or what's being said - they almost become part of the story, the plot, the main characters.
I particularly enjoy having and holding the book (my collection's getting out of hand!); I can mark passages, make notes and later refer back to them.
And while I'm on a roll here
I think that classic literature (for whatever genre one is inclined to) is a great place to start for one very practical reason: Those works that have endured over time have done so because of their timeless, broad-reaching appeal
. I started this reading frenzy about 10 or so years ago based on this idea (I wanted to read regularly, but had no idea where to start) and it's been one fantastic experience after another.
It's on this pedestal that I post these works here... not because I proport to be any sort of expert or have any unique insight, but moreso in the hopes that others might be inspired to pick up some of those timeless gems and share some of the adventure I have. Selecting those from my library that have philosophical overtones seemed a good idea for the forum.
Thanks for your comments