I love reading.
I know people who don’t read. I don’t understand them. They’ve explained to me that they don’t like to read. Most of them say they like living rather than spending time reading. I used to think that I read too much. I guess that can be true if I’m spending all of my paycheck on books and doing nothing but reading, but I’m not. I go to work, I’m social, I only spend a small portion of my paycheck on books. I used to think that maybe I need to do more living and less reading.
I tried that for a bit. I missed it. I missed it more than most things that I’ve been away from. It is the easiest thing to remedy though.
Last night I had a conversation with a guy from Bristol who was visiting San Francisco for 4 days before heading to Vancouver. We were watching the new Robin Hood movie on the couch in the common room of the hostel we were both staying in. After it was over, we had a long conversation about life. He was frustrated because he was having problems forming sentences and remembering words. His comment after trying to think of a word was “Man, I need to get back into reading when I get back”. He had been traveling for 9 months so far. He has 2 more weeks left.
I never considered how reading effects vocabulary and the ability to produce complex sentences. Thinking back, I can somewhat see a pattern in my speech when there are gaps in reading. I think reading keeps your mind sharp regardless of what you’re reading. Hell, if it will get your nose in a book, read Twilight? Not into that, I’m sure something else will tickle your fancy. The people I know who don’t read generally are lacking a strong vocabulary. They have no creativity or imagination. They live to work and care about one thing – money. I don’t think that is a way for me to live a fulfilling life.
When I read, I’m living. I may not be living in this world, but I’m living. I’m experiencing something new. My mind is being opened to new thoughts and new ideas. My imagination never ceases to amaze me with its intricate worlds it creates by simply reading the ideas of others. Sometimes they give me ideas of my own. Sometimes they inspire my art.
I can’t really imagine my world without reading. I don’t think I would be the same person if I didn’t have my nose stuck in a book through middle school and high school. College was rough. I had to do reading, but none of it was for pleasure. After graduating, I sped through different worlds and met so many different people. In the past month, I’ve finished 3 books that were slightly under 1000 pages (the first 3 books of A Song of Ice and Fire). I have 2 more to go in that series. I brought 3 other books with me and have 2 more sitting on my desk at work that I ordered through amazon.com. I need to instate a rule. No more purchasing books until I read the ones that I have.
So, to all of those who say they don’t read, turn off the TV and go to the book store. You will find something you like and maybe even learn something.