This is a call to all, bibliophile or not, to read. There are few things better for your mind then reading. I cannot stress the importance of it. This is something that should be required in every family structure, and more schools need to be pushing it. Reading does so much for a person as an individual, that the ramifications of not reading should scare you. Reading improves all areas of your cognitive abilities, conversations, relationship and makes you smarter. If you haven’t read you haven’t lived.
I never feel bad for the people that tell me they’ve never traveled to all these places they’ve wanted to. I can tell you I have traveled to more places than people visit in their lifetime, because I read. I can learn anything and go anywhere by opening a book. I can be anything, I can travel with anyone, I can fight battles, have relationships and become a better person because I read. I have learned as much from reading as I have from school. Reading is quintessential when it comes to a growing mind. Without reading there is no imagination or thought. Without imagination there are no new ideas, without ideas there is just placid work and, ultimately a boring life.
What should you read? For this post the fact is that you DO read. Nonfiction gives you a view of the world. With nonfiction you can learn about people, place and history. You can learn more than others can tell you and you will be less ignorant and better able to form opinions. Fiction teaches you about yourself. It forms the way you view yourself, the way you view others and the things that are most important to you. Every book you read is a mirror: you see a part of yourself in it.
I have always found it sad when people say they don’t read. It breaks my heart to know that there are people who would rather watch TV or surf the internet. Even scientific studies show that people who read, have lower blood pressure, have less stress, are better educated and are better conversationalists. Reading affects your health! Who knew that just reading could make you live longer? There is nothing better you can do for yourself then read. If it’s something you have trouble with I encourage you to do something about it right now.
Take a month, turn off the TV, shut down the computer and sit on your couch with a book. It may be hard at first, but I promise, after a few weeks you’ll wonder what you’ve been doing with your life for so long. After that month is over you’ll be changed. You’ll be spending your money in bookstores and not game stores. You’ll cut your cable bill, and not have to worry about wondering where the time went. And, if you find you a twiddling away the hours reading, who cares? You are doing something that is as important as exercise.
Here it is, you stand on the edge of a new life. A life full of adventure, characters you’ll come to love, some you’ll come to hate. Relationships you thought you’d never have, things you never thought you could do, and above all, you will be whisked away to worlds you never thought were possible, but have been there all along.
Open a book.
“…but he had a serenity that came with the choice of a life he wanted to live. And this serenity and certainty I have seen only among those who have the armor of books close by”
~ Michael Ondaatje