Reading Rocks!

 

Forget “Beam me up Scotty.” Reading can transport me more rapidly than any time machine to another world, another dimension, another place.  For me a book affords me this trip in a manner no movie can. I start to dialogue with the characters, the author and myself. One story will immerse me in a scenario so far from my experience that I am reeling inwardly from culture shock. Another book reaches the intense heart of my own experience in such a way that I have one of those brief moments of feeling understood.

Reading expands my world and reveals unknown treasures. Reading penetrates my sensory world in a way big and small screen don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies, but they touch me in a different way than a book. I have wept through written tragedies on train journeys, oblivious to fellow passengers furtive glances, whereas cinema tearjerkers always have me trying to mask the tear-wiping.  I have made mind-blowing cognitive and emotional breakthroughs through books, and not just the self-help kind! I have missed many meal-times because I can become oblivious to time when immersed in a good novel.

Reading can be educational too – as a tween most of my sex education came from certain well-thumbed pages in my parents’ collection of Ian Flemming Novels (James Bond)!  I honestly believe I owe my existence to some of my childhood and teenage fictional heroes and heroines. Captain Nancy from Swallows and Amazons, Lucy from Narnia,  Anne from Green Gables…… and many more took me into their worlds and hid me for many safe hours, restoring my strength to re-enter reality.

 

I cannot imagine a life without books because:

 

  1. I can take a thousand journeys from my armchair.
  2. They can alleviate moments of solitude.
  3. A funny story can have me smiling all day.
  4. I like the pictures, no wait, I am meant to have progressed onto books without pictures, darn!
  5. Some books accompany me in my spiritual journey.
  6. They challenge my convictions.
  7. They put my small troubles into perspective.
  8. I can read a book almost anywhere (well not in a car without barfing).
  9. They were real life-savers for me as a kid
  10. Reading is one of the best ways I have found of  developing my languages.

 

 

Why do you enjoy books?

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Reading Rocks!

  1. There is a lot of meat in this post! I’ve been thinking it over before answering your question.

    First of all, I’m very glad you haven’t “progressed” past books with pictures! If you and I didn’t share an interest in picture books, we would never have encountered each other!

    Now, why do I enjoy books? (This list is not in order of priority.)

    1. All my life, they have provided windows into other lives, whether real or fictional lives. They’ve let me get under the skin of other people, and live for a time in another way, in another mindset. They have broadened my horizons.

    2. They have taught me so much, both in terms of concrete knowledge, and in terms of learning more about myself and about others.

    3. They have provided a magic carpet for my imagination to fly away on, and thus they have developed and honed my imagination.

    4. They have brought me into connection with people I’d otherwise never have met.

    5. They gave me something to share with my mother in her last years — she often wondered what she would do if she couldn’t read. Reading took her places and taught her things right up to the last few weeks of her life, and also gave both of us comfort as I read to her over the phone, from Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies.

    6. They have given me a new career — for without reading, I couldn’t be a writer.

    I can’t imagine what my life would be *without* books. I don’t want to imagine a life without books.

  2. Joanna says:

    Ah, Beth, what a wonderful response – a blog post in itself. I love how you expanded on each point. How precious that you enjoyed this reading adventure with your mum up to her final weeks. I think right now I would add that the writing and reading of books is bringing me friendships with a whole new group of people across the globe who are igniting my creativity 😉

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