You cannot open a book without learning something.
My friends and family love to tease me about my book lists. I have mounds of lists of books that I have to read. I love recommendations from friends, family, and even strangers. If I am ever sitting alone reading in public, I assure you almost every time someone approaches me and begins a conversation, and it usually ends in a book recommendation. I take recommendations very seriously. To me, a book recommendation comes from a person who has experienced a life change from this book. They care about you enough to recommend it to inspire you as well. Even if I do not get the same amount of passion from a book someone has recommended, it certainly tells me a piece of the person who recommended it.
Reading to me, is an art. It’s an acquired taste. We are each a canvas that our literary choices paint. Whether you prefer the accounts of a politician’s life, an action adventure mystery, or are swept away by the endless classics, you will not only be told a story in a few hours, but also walk away with an understanding of another person’s perspective on life.
WHY READ WHEN YOU CAN WATCH A MOVIE?
I cannot tell you how many countless times I have heard that statement. A movie is full of action and adventure, but a book does many things a movie cannot. No matter how brilliant a director, one cannot capture a thought without dialogue. Much of human life is full of thoughts and thought processes, inspirations, and self examination. A book can account these feelings with words, but a movie can only show the character going through situations, not telling us his thoughts unless he literally speaks to the audience.
Secondly, a book allows our creative juices to flow. We are given basic physical descriptions of a character, sometimes not at all. We can either put ourselves as the character or we can imagine one. This allows us to do what is most important to all human beings, inspire ideas. In a movie, the main character is shown to us, and usually the character is your typical “flawless” actor, not someone who we would imagine.
WHY READ IN GENERAL?
Reading offers us a perspective of the author’s thinking pattern. When you pick up a book, an author has spent minimally a year working on this piece, finding a publisher, acquiring an audience with an editor, and fighting to make sure that his or her voice is not lost in edits or changes. Now this book has reached your hands. A chunk of someone’s life’s dedication has reached you. That’s how passionate they are about their story or message. Will you read it?
Philosopher’s have written books that have become a part of our countries constitution, science fiction writers give us the reasoning of what issues, ideas, or thoughts will be for tomorrow, and historical writers, whether fiction or non fiction, remind us of our past and how far we have come. Essentially, by reading a book, you have inherited lifetime’s worth of ideas, implementations, thoughts, and arguments in a few hours span. You have become that much smarter, you can engage with different people with your new found knowledge; you can form opinions, or seek more information. Life just gets more interesting.
EXPAND FROM OF YOUR REGULAR READING CHOICES
For my readers who already enjoy reading on a regular basis, take a literary risk, and read something out of your usual tastes. Romance readers should try science fiction, both are dreamy and present ideas that tug at your heart strings. Science fiction readers should try reading ancient philosophers, you would be surprised how much of your authors ideas have been borrowed from these inspirational men and women! Those who enjoy reading on the metaphysical life would also enjoy ancient philosophy. When you take a literary risk and read outside of your norm, you will either love something you would never take an interest in before, or you will not like the book and learn something about yourself and take an opinion over a certain issue.
I took a chance on an author I am not too fond of. She is known for her classic literature, and many women love her. I can say with confidence I did not. I really did not like anything about her writing style, her stories, her portrayal of man and woman, and also, how she takes a small part of that time frame and speaks nothing of the majority of the population. However, I have read every book she has written. Why read something I dislike? I learned something about the people of her time. I learned that women, poor or middle class women, read her books as an escape from their hard every day lives. For a few hours, those women were taken away by this author’s story, and therefore had an escape from their much harder lives. I learned about people from the past, and though the book does not apply to me, I would defend her books if they ever went off the market. If she got pulled from bookstores, a piece of a million women’s voices, dreams, and hopes would be too. We can never lose our past.
So take the time to continue reading. Read your friends books, the classics, magazines, non fiction and fiction. Branch out as much as your life can allow time for. Take an author’s life time of knowledge and become just as enriched in a few hours! It sounds like a great exchange to me!