Today I came across an interesting article from the Huffington Post that discusses how books shaped the life of Ray Bradbury. During a brief argument with a librarian, Bradbury said, "That’s what books do. They are the building blocks, the DNA, if you will, of you."
I think this is a brilliant notion. What we read, how we read, and if we read all plays in to who we are. Join me as I explore the benefits of books that many of us know and some should consider.
Shut up with the big ideas already.
If you speak with a dreamer, you'll quickly realize they have some level of appreciation for books. Good literature - whatever that means - benefits readers in many ways, the first of which concerns propelling thought.
Books contain ideologies which we support or have never heard about. While it's wonderful to have someone agree with what you already know, a great author can introduce you to a new ideology that might really get the wheels turning.
The more literature someone consumes, they bigger their ideas become. They see the bigger picture in many situations because readers have experienced many endeavors within particular topics. That is, they've traveled alongside characters who face real-life dilemmas, including many morality-based conflicts, and readers have discovered there's no one way to look at something.
Unfortunately for readers, once they start spouting out their big ideas, some people will not care. These are probably non-readers or the types that think reading is boring and a big waste of time. They might be happy with only looking at 10% of the world.
You're never alone
Another reason reading is so crucial is because you learn you're never alone. Whether you're feeling lonely in the more traditional sense of having no one you can relate to, or if you are alone with a certain belief, books can introduce you to characters (which are often altered reflections of the author) and ideas that will never let you feel alone again.
Alongside with never feeling alone, books can be a friend to your imagination. Whenever you need a break from the constant hassles in life, ones which make you question what the meaning to life really is, simply chew into a good book and let it carry you away.
There's no other medium I've found that can radically change a tainted mood into a happier one. In short, there are times when I'm in a crummy mood and decide to spend the day reading. I'll reach the last page of a novel only to look up at the clock and think, Oh yeah, life's still happening. I'll be completely taken back by a good novel and completely forgot about all the stressors in my life. My mind was completely held hostage by that good read and I feel a light euphoria once I am done. Books can change your mood.
You'll never be the same.
If you find yourself in a rut or don't know what to do with yourself, read a book. Read a book even if you're not in such a mood. It will break the disdain, the trepidation, the loneliness. You'll learn, you'll question, you'll think, fall in love, and so much more. When you allow yourself to become lost in a good book, you'll finish and feel a hundred times better, I promise you that.
However, books can make us dreamers and big thinkers. Some people don't appreciate such things, but it'll make you a better person in certain aspects. Someone that is well-read, is often very witty in social settings, no matter how awkward they or others think they are.
But trying to describe regular reading is like trying to explain a trip. To experience a trip (though I don't condone such activities), you need to try the drug. (Remember, this is an analogy, not a suggestion.) Likewise, to understand books, allow yourself to fall into the depths of a good story. If you're not an avid reader, this might prove difficult. Sometimes the first 20 pages will grab you, but they won't take you hostage. Succumb to the Stockholm Syndrome of books, and let me know what happens when you're done.
Think books are too boring for you? Well, what are you interested in? There's a book on that subject. Give a shot. You won't be disappointed. Books will change you, for sure, but it's a good change. And who knows, maybe you'll find an answer to one of life's dilemmas that you sorely needed.
By the way, readers have more sex. And better sex. I mean more great sex than they do laundry.
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