No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasures so lasting. (Lady Montagu, 1753)
I'm not sure who Lady Montagu was, but I'd say she can claim great insight and wisdom with the quote above. I"m in full agreement with her, but it might not be so easy to convince people today that reading surpasses other pastimes in both cost and lasting pleasure.
Many would rather sit in front of a TV, a movie theater screen or a computer for entertainment. Let someone else do the work, I'll just sit here and absorb what they've done. While many things in all three of those mediums are delightful and amusing, they don't do much to exercise your brain, do they? Think of the cost of this kind of entertainment versus the cost of a book. Doesn't even come close, does it? Granted, you put out a lot of money only once for the TV and the computer and you spend money on books, one at a time,, but the equivalent amount of money spent on books would keep you in reading material for a very long time.
Think about the number of books you've read that impressed you so much that you can recall the story or the theme in them. Now, think about the number of TV shows that have done the same for you. When a TV show is over, it's over. I seldom think about them later on. But I do think about books I've read, think about stories that left an indelible mark in my memory bank.
I'm not suggesting that people give up TV, movies or computer games and internet surfing. Not at all. But I'd like to see more people choose reading a book more often than they do now. Don't let yourself vegetate in front of a screen on a full-time basis. Pick up a book and let your mind take you to faraway places.