Reading is one of the most important things you can do every day. How do I know? First disclaimer: I am not a teacher, have nothing to do with the education industry, and yet I will give you an “expert” opinion. My opinion? The more you read, the more content and adaptable you will be. Cultivating a new reading habit, one that means you read intentionally every day, will give you lifelong benefits beyond pleasure. You will be more interesting and more easily entertained. You might even find some peace and calm in your life that is wholly unavailable to the television addicts. This business of reading is a new habit worth cultivating.
Read until your eyes pop
Now why would I write about this? The statistics about adult readers in the United States are abysmal. It seems that most adults, once they graduate college, don’t bother to read another book. How in the world is that possible? Don’t people go to college to become educated? To learn how to read and learn more? That might not be true anymore, as borne out by the statistics. People stop reading. But not all of us. I am an inveterate reader. That’s a nice way to say I can’t stop reading. My friends and I laugh about reading until our eyes feel like they will pop out of our heads. It turns out that makes us weird in this world, but we will keep reading.
Mark Twain’s observation
Mark Twain, no reading slouch in his time, said the man who won’t read is no better off than a man who can’t read. That should be chiseled above the doors of every school building in America, from preschool to university. What good does it do to learn how to read and then never read? You learned to read so you can use Instagram? Seriously? Okay, I’m being too snarky and offending you is not helpful.
What if Twain is right?
Yet, Twain was right. If you keep letting your mind rot by not reading, how can you adapt to a constantly changing world? How do you intend to keep a job, buy a home, a car, have a family, have a life? Reading and comprehending what you read is essential to life. And the future belongs totally to those who can read and understand how to do things to solve problems. It isn’t just mathematicians and scientists who have to know how to read in order to solve problems. Every high paying job, including blue-collar jobs, will require a high level of reading and comprehension skills.
The world spins toward complication
Everything that we use in life is becoming more complicated, especially as things are linked together. We have refrigerators that talk to us (ugh) and home security systems that want our attention, cars that run on our verbal commands, computer and software instructions that are ever more complex. Have you ever tried to put something together out of a box? You have to read the instructions because the pictures alone won’t tell the story. All of life is predicated upon reading and understanding. All of life, not just employment situations. We cannot afford to stop reading and a culture that won’t read won’t last very long.
Books are everywhere; where are the readers?
Now that you have had enough of the rant, why brings this on? As I read about who reads books, what kind of books, and then who buys books, I feel very discouraged. The number of readers is not encouraging. We need to read to increase our worth in the market place of work, but we don’t do it. We need to read to understand our world and make intelligent decisions about our lives. I keep reading the idea that if you read three or four books on a subject in a year, you will be an expert. An expert. That seems unlikely, yet I understand that when people do not read to better understand their field, if you read those three books on the subject, you will be light years ahead in the game. Pick up those books and read!
What does that have to do with kissing books?
People who read romance books and buy romance books to read are a hardy lot. As a group, romance readers outstrip average people. They read more books, in more subgenres of romance, than other readers. In other words, people want to read kissing books over and over and over again. Kissing books that are thrillers; kissing books that are historical, westerns, fantasy, sci-fi, whatever you can dream up. People who love romance books, LOVE romance books. They read them from the bookstore, the library, the swapping group, in hand or online, in paper or on electronic readers.
The point is they read all the time because they love their books. And that makes romance writers happy.
My advice is to keep reading. Then you can read some more. Whether you read books on gardening, gemstones, economics, history, art, music, or kissing books, you will learn something. You can be a more interesting person, always a plus, and have something intelligent to share outside of that awful subject of politics. Politics does not rule the world. People are interested in the big questions of life: who are we, where did we come from, where are going? The Bible can give us answers and we can buttress that with our reading in other areas.
What you read is not as important is that you actually spend the time reading. Your brain will thank you because it will help halt dementia. That should be enough justification to cultivate a reading habit. Enjoy your books and your calmer life. You will find the more you read, the more you can enjoy your life.
Have a happy week reading!