"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...." - George R.R. Martin
Open your mind and heart to a new world.
It all started last night when I was lying in bed finishing a book. The book was sad. It made me cry and my daughter came up and asked why I was so sad. I explained to her a little about the plot and the characters. She then started talking about some of the characters in her book and sharing her feelings about them. We began having a conversation about the stories we were reading, everything from our concerns for the main character to our shock at the twist at the end. For a few brief moments, in our minds, our books took on a life of their own, it was as if they were real people that we had met and conversed with, real situations and experiences that we had witnessed. It felt like it was all happening in a sort of alternate universe that was running parallel to ours. I didn't really think too much about this at the time, I just enjoyed the opportunity for a somewhat intellectual conversation with my 9 year old. This morning however I had additional thoughts. Was it silly that we felt so connected with what we read, or had we in fact taken an opportunity to briefly live another life? Isn't that what reading is all about? Immersing yourself in a world outside of your own? Whether it be a great new fiction read or the lastest bio-chem text book- it is written at a different time, in a different context, and even from a different mindset. The books almost have a life of their own. And how amazing is it for us to be able walk, for a brief moment, in someone else shoes.
Books not only open up a new world, but they also give us new perspective. They educate our minds to the world around us. We learn how to manage the present we are in by looking at the mistakes and triumphs of history. We gain understanding of ways to communicate by reading dialogue in fictional work. We learn propriety and manners through class novels. We develop problem solving skills from a thrilling murder mystery paperback. It doesn't take a boring text book to teach us something, but if we were so bold as to pick up something non-fiction- oh how our minds would expand.
Reading not only opens your world, but it enriches your mind. And it's free. No expensive procedure to undergo. No hidden fees every month. You can read anything, anywhere and everywhere. Who knows- maybe that boring sailing magazine at the doctors office will open your mind to a new hobby.
So put down your phone, pick up a book and change your life.