Biblio 411: Reasons to Read

For those of you who didn’t know by now, I love to read. I can write a full page of reasons I read, but this captures just about all of them and it is plainly put.

I particularly love the first paragraph because that is the number one reason I enjoy reading so much–I am curious. Reading helps me explore different perspectives, different realities, different experiences. Sometimes it places me in uncomfortable situations because I see inaccuracies in my beliefs, yet, because if this, it makes my beliefs stronger. 

I have no advice to offer those who don’t enjoy reading except to not ignore it all together. Try. Start with subjects you like or want to learn about. Reading doesn’t have to fiction or make believe. Non-fiction reads are based on subjects so find something you like. You always wanted to travel? Pick up a travel guide of the area you want to visit. And if reading is hard for you, skim it. Skim through parts that grab your attention. Read the introduction and the conclusion. Read magazine articles or graphic novels. Read the Garfield Comics or the Calvin and Hobbes. With so many sources of reading it is hard for me to imagine someone can’t find anything that interests them.

Reading expands your universe, pushes your boundaries, and enhance your life. You owe it to yourself to grab at the opportunities to do so.

Snapshot: 2016 Reading Profile

And so it begins. Another year. It’s the time for reflection and a time for goals and all that jazz.

For me? A clean slate of reading goals!  Every book junkie knows this. They can’t wait to start a whole new year of reading.

My Pop Sugar’s Reading Challenge wasn’t met. At 50 books meeting 50 different reading requirements, I met 11 requirements. Granted these eleven requirements sometimes had up to four books in that category, I didn’t meet the 50. Which is a shame, but that only means I need to try it again.

My GoodReads challenge wasn’t met either. My goal was 75 and I only read 51. Granted it was 68% so over half, but still, not 100%. 

Usually, one would be upset or disappointed or … whatever it is you use for failure. I am a little disappointed, but I’m not so much so to understand that it was a challenging year for me. And what’s done is done and can’t be undone so we move forward.

With that said … new reading goals! Because, remember, it’s an excited time for book lovers because we have an excuse to set new book goals. And I am excited.

I’ll be participating in the GoodReads challenge once more. I like their simplicity and the fact they track it for you. In 2013 I read 81 out of 80, in 2014 I read 70 out of 60, and this year I fell short at 51 put 75. This year I’ll start at 55 and see where that takes me. 

In addition to the amount of books I’m shooting, I’m rounding that out with a new challenge circling about the Internet and I’m excited to participate in.

 

It’s not as robust as last year’s PopSugar but considering my commitments this year perhaps it’s what I need to stay in the game and not kill myself keeping up with a challenge.

So, here’s to 2016 and whole new 366 days of reading!

NaBloPoMo15: That One Lesson!

You don’t realize how many lessons you’ve learned growing up until you actually sit down to choose what was the most important lesson you learned as a child. I mean, I almost wish it’s like a movie, where the parents actually say “so the important lesson here is … ” you know? But, real life doesn’t happen that way, I guess.

So, what is the most important lesson I learned as a child and who taught it to me?

Some of the greatest and most impactful lessons I learned came from my dad. There’s a long list of important things I learned from him, but if I had to pin down just one, it would have to be to “read anything and everything I can.” Yep, that lesson came from my father.

I guess he knew from early on that I was and would always be a reader. I can’t remember what I was doing or how the subject came about between us, but we started talking about reading. He told me “you love to read and that’s a good thing. You see, me? I’m not a reader. Reading is hard for me, but if I wanted to do business I needed to read. So since you like to read, don’t read just story books or fun kind of books. But read self help books, business books. Read anything and everything you can.” Those may not be exactly his words, but the conversation was something along those lines and you know what? Whether it was consciously or subconsciously, I remember that advice. It’s partially the reason I don’t limit myself to fiction and that I’ll give any non-fiction subject a shot.

Why do you feel this lesson was so important?

Because reading is important. I can’t say that this lesson made all the difference and was the sole reason I expanded my reading, but it did influence me and it validated my love of learning and reading had purpose and meaning. It made me continue to read anything and everything because even at a young age I knew my dad had a good point.

Why do I feel this lesson was the most important?
It’s hard to pinpoint the most important lesson of all, because as I mentioned, there’s a long list of life lessons I learned from my father, but why I picked this as the most important is because of a few reasons. The first reason being that reading has played a tremendous role in my life. I’ve learned so much from all the books I read and they’ve contributed to the way I think, the way I feel, and the way I see life and how I relate life to me. The second reason being that I still have a strong memory of that talk. I may not remember specifics or minute details, but I remember enough of it to remember that I felt this talk was important and I remember feeling that my dad really wanted to stress the importance of not only reading, but reading other things. And last, but not least, I felt this is the most important because not only has it plays a tremendous role in my life, but it has made me who I am today.

Without reading the books I’ve read, I would never had the courage to go back to school to pursue a degree. Without reading the books I’ve read, I would never had the courage to write past my journal entries I write for myself. Without reading the books I’ve read, I would never have met some of the bestest friends I’ve had and I would have never met an awesome community of writers and readers and authors that I’ve met today.

Wise Words: I Opened A Book

  This poem popped up in one of my social media accounts, courtesy of The Reading Room, and I couldn’t resist blogging it. 

This poem captures the essence of reading exactly. Over my lifetime, it is because of reading I was able experience many different things on many different levels.

As the poem mentions, I’ve laughed and cried with many characters. I’ve experienced their happily-ever-afters and sometimes their not-so-happily ever afters.

Reading is an experience. Every. Time.

Table Talk: Random things I learned from books

While I was at work one day, one of my co-workers approached me and asked if I knew why the buttons on women’s button-up shirts were on the left side and on men’s button-up shirts they were on the right. It was such a random question and yet I knew the answer.

“Yes, I do,” I replied. “It’s because during the pioneer days, when a woman would drive the coach, shirts that were buttoned from right to left had the possibility of ‘peeking’ through spaces between the buttons to their breasts. In order to remedy that, they made women’s shirts button from left to right.”

My co-worker was silent for a bit, processing the information, and then said “Wow! That makes a whole lot of sense. I was wondering why that was and I didn’t think anyone knew.”

Turns out, she was going around the workplace, asking the question to anyone who would listen. I don’t know how much people she asked before she got to me, but I know she went around the room for the next five minutes reciting the information I just gave her to anyone who would listen.

I laughed a bit, then stopped and asked myself how I knew the answer to that question.

Encyclopedia Brown, that’s how.

A book. That’s what it boils down to.

For some odd reason, this experience popped into my mind and throughout the day I’ve been thinking about all the things I learned from books. We all know that reading takes you to worlds you could never discover otherwise, that reading expands your horizons, that reading gives you a wider perspective of things. But what have you truly learned from books?

Here’s a list of random things I learned all because of books and I try my best to name where I read them (and let me just say this is a list of things I learned from fictional reads. And also that this is not an all-inclusive list. There are probably tons of stuff I’ve learned that cannot traced back to a particular book):

I learned …

… that paramedics load the injured party head first because that’s where all the equipment is – Encyclopedia Brown by Donald Sobol

… that vision therapy exists and it’s used to re/train the muscles around the eyes to do certain things – Keep Me Ghosted by Karen Cantwell

… that Disney’s version of fairy tales aren’t always the happily ever after we thought they were – Grimm’s Fairytales

… that a person’s “imprint” is left in a room and can be read by certain types of technology. – Robert Langdon in the Dan Brown Series (And even though this may not exist yet, I have no doubt we’re close.)

… that overpopulation is something we should give serious thought to, even though we ethically can’t do anything about it. – Inferno by Dan Brown

… the basic outline of Divine Comedy, particularly Inferno. –  Inferno by Dan Brown

… that “who will guard the guards is an excellent question to ask when its meaning is applies. – Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

… the basic hierarchy of the Vatican. – Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

What can I say? I love Dan Brown’s writing. And I’m trying to keep this list more practical than abstract. 

… some aspects of time-travel. – Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone and All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

… a lot of general history – Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes, All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, Relatively Dead Series by Sheila Connolly (and I know that’s cheating a little, generalizing like this, but if I go into all the minor things about history I learned from just these few books–let’s just say this will be a really, really long post)

And of course, many more things that my brain can’t seem to conjure up this late in the night. Not to mention that as I go through some of the things I’ve learned, they seem more abstract that I thought and that is for another list.

Books teach us so many things, from random things like why button’s on a shirt is a certain way to major and complex things like what is one way to live a happy life. If you’re not a reader, you’re limiting yourself to one perspective of the world–your perspective–and you owe it to yourself to explore other possibilities.

 

BookJunkie 411: Dangers of Reading

Seriously, who knew reading could be so dangerous?

I came home from watching Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb around 10p, told myself I’m going to read for a little bit before doing my daily post, and BAM! I got only 30 minutes left on Dec 19th! Ack!

The dangers of reading *shakes my head*.

Aside from snatching time, here are five other dangers of reading:

1) It’s addictive – Because I’ve read three books this week and almost halfway into the fourth book.

2) It makes you root for the “bad” guy – Because sure he’s a vampire and drinks blood to survive, but he protected her from that evil witch that tried to mess with her brain, that same witch who gruesomely murdered her parents.

3) It messes with your emotions – Because who would’ve thought that Professor Snape had a backstory that rivals Romeo and Juliet!

4) It teaches you about other worlds – Because Middle Earth did exist at one point (I’m sure of it) and curse that Vader for blowing that planet!

5) It gives you two sides of one story – Because who in the world wants to be fully informed? *said with a touch of sarcasm*

Reading is dangerous.

It gives you experiences you never thought you’d have, it enhances your mind, and it trains your heart with a healthy dose of empathy and a touch of understanding.

Just saying.