Thursday, April 10, 2014

Books can make readers of us all.

If you don’t read books, you’re missing out, period. I would say this is true so much so that for those of you who have never made a practice of reading books---train yourself to read. If you strive to overcome natural disinclination, you’ll likely discover the reward worth the payment of time and energy. Everybody has interests. Begin by reading a book on a subject of interest. It's not only a way to learn, it feeds an innate hunger to know.

If you have relapsed; if you used to read books but don’t anymore, start reading again. You’ll likely find that without realizing, you wholeheartedly miss the pleasure of reading an outstanding book.

For a time I myself experienced book reading relapse. I attribute part of this to years of working tiresome graveyard shift hours---part to being enamored of digital chat rooms---and part to the internet in general. Binge watching popular Netflix TV series grabs plenty of time and interferes with book reading mode. To learn how to navigate computers and accomplish internet related feats---these can easily slice hours off of time needed, even for sleep.

So yes, this had been my case for a time---until several years ago when someone gifted a novel by Patricia Cornwell to me. I realized what I had been missing by not reading books. That intriguing novel of suspenseful fiction resuscitated my love of reading. Its importance stood higher after. When I finish a book now, I start another. I have erected walls to guard my disposition to read books. These walls guard against what I view as the siege of the internet age threatening to rid me of time alone with books that move my spirit in no other way possible.

Books offer so much of value. By making time to read books, we can transport ourselves a thousand years back and discover a world of medieval belief, practice and stunning turns of history. As we read our minds display images we ourselves imagine. Books invite us to feel sympathies and antipathies for characters whose strength or weakness we may find reflected in ourselves or others. Sometimes as we read a book we’re gratified at how it draws us into a world where we’ve always yearned to really live. Reading books sometimes comforts us with a message of hope. At other times it agitates us to take action for a particular cause. History for instance credits the 1962 book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson as the spring board of the environmental movement.

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