This blog often touches upon writing and editing, but never really upon reading. It’s about time, wouldn’t you say?
I loved reading once upon a time, everything and anything. As a kid, every second Friday, I’d stagger home, supporting a dozen books in my arms. Nowadays, I rarely have the opportunity (time, energy, ability) to do so unless I’m reviewing a book or editing it. How I miss the thrill of turning pages and losing myself.
Still, it’s important. Reading is a great escape to other places, times, situations and scenarios, which can help us feel better by lessening depression, stress, anxiety. It’s also been said to help reduce chances of developing Alzheimer’s (something that frightens me vastly, I freely confess, but maybe that’s for another post). To put it simply, reading is brain food. It feeds the brain, stimulates it . . . causes the cogs to twirl and whirl.
As you read, perhaps you identify with a character or relate to his/her situation. What transpires may help define things for you, maybe even offer a solution. Or possibly that character, the locale, action, simply transport you to another country or county, planet or dimension. And all is good because for a wee while, everyday life is, well, not everyday.
Reading can prove an effort with all the distractions and demands we experience these days but doing so is a great way to [learn to] focus, thus not being distracted or prone to give in to another demand. The best way to enjoy a book and not be sidetracked: find a comfortable place that’s free of computers, TVs, and phones. In fact, if they are nearby, turn them off! Settle in and give that book the attention it deserves.
To engage in a book is entertaining and/or engaging. If it’s nonfiction, you’re acquiring knowledge; maybe you’ll use it, maybe you won’t. Reading allows you to learn, even if it’s fiction and even if it’s a minor detail, something trifling. Nothing wrong with adding a bit of trivia to the encyclopedia tucked in our head … and nothing wrong with augmenting our vocabulary, either.
For us bloggers and authors, reading enables us to get a feel for other writers’ styles, to discover what works and why, and to ultimately improve our own blogging and writing. We can even read about how to do that, if we’re so inclined. The book world is our oyster.
And, if you’re anything like me, someone who has trouble sleeping, it’s said that reading at bedtime actually enables you to sleep better if you make it part of your nighttime routine.
And what about reading print versus digital? It’s said we should engage in both, although print has more benefits (particularly at bedtime, as just mentioned).
There are studies, too, that suggest people who read regularly live longer. Can’t say I really care one way or the other, but interesting nevertheless.
My posts are never meant to be overly detailed (I like to avoid the snoozzzzzzze factor), but are intended to tickle your curiosity and, hopefully, inspire you to find out more. So I leave you with this. Revel in a good read—often. You define “good”. Read what you like, floats your boat, intrigues and entertains you, and let it take you as far as you want to go.