Friday, March 18, 2011

For the Love of Reading

I love to read. I will read almost anything I can get my hands on. I say almost, because there are a few people, namely psycho religious/political zealots, who have books on the market that I would sooner burn than read. Beyond that, I'll read magazines, nonfiction, fiction, memoirs, newspapers, blogs, and the back of cereal boxes. The reason I read is simple. It provides the opportunity for me to open my mind and embrace change.

Notice I said OPEN my mind. Which is why I don't read books by psycho religious/political zealots who have books on the market. Ahem. Okay, now that that's off my chest...

Reading transports you to another world. Say you're reading an anatomy book (yes, I'll cop to this one). You're transported into the human body and its intricacies. Maybe you read a memoir, and vicariously live through the author's experiences. You feel the suspense of a great mystery, and the action of a epic fantasy battle. You even learn that your favorite box of cereal comes with 11 essential vitamins and minerals AND a proof of purchase you can mail in for a cheap toy. This is powerful stuff! :)

A few years back, a book hit the market by the name of The Secret. WAIT, don't run! Stay with me here...I had mixed feelings about that book. I loved how it opened up the door to possibilities. The book provided the framework for people to take a good, hard look at their lives and begin changing things for the better. But it frustrated me because it also tried to convince us that if you just think really hard about winning the lotto, owning that sports car, marrying Hugh Jackman, you could make it happen. Most of us quickly figured out it doesn't work like that. Regardless, it planted the seed that you could try. *Note--this isn't a book recommendation. Some people love books like this, others hate them. My point is to find one that draws a strong reaction from you.

Think of the last thing you read that blew your mind. Whether it made you cry, lifted your spirits, opened your heart or entertained your imagination, think about how strongly it spoke to you and why. The last amazing--I'm talking A-MAZ-ING--book I read spoke to me as a writer. The author made me remember why I write. The impact was powerful, because this industry is harsh on it's best days. But to be honest, I read something every week that strikes a different chord in me. (As a side note, I highly recommend that you email the author who wrote the book that impacted you and tell him/her so. I did and received a gracious response that completely made my day).

I hope you've recently read something that inspired you. Subtle or powerful, I hope it warmed your heart, or made you cry. I hope it propelled you forward, or encouraged you to slow down. Maybe it inspired you to switch cereal to one that contains less sugar per serving than your recommended daily allowance. Above all else, I hope it planted the seed of change. Read on, my friends. ;-)


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