Tag Archives: books

Why Do We Read?

This blog is all about writing, but it’s natural to therefore look at reading.

I love it. If you read this blog, you love it. But why should we do it?

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This kid has a bright future!

  1. It’s a great way to learn! I’m known as a keeper of arcane trivia, and not so arcane. I only showed up for tests in my college Astronomy 101 class. Everything I needed to know about astronomy I learned in comic books. Non-fiction is all about learning. Beware, though; be discerning; you can learn right and you can be seduced by the dark side.
  2. It sharpens critical thinking. Or it can. Most stories flow logically and offer a logical twist or two. Keeping track of a story sharpens your thinking. Sorting through red herrings and real clues makes you discriminate.
  3.  It widens your world. Trapped in a small suburb, I traveled to the stars, the past, far flung places without ever leaving my couch.
  4. You can try on different occupations. You find out what it is to be a lawyer, a crook, a conman, a detective, a superhero, and a thousand other occupations. Me, I found writing, but I was intrigued by lawyers (talked out of it by my Uncle Lawyer, darn it).
  5. It increases your imagination. This is the elephant in the room, not because it’s hiding but because it’s big! Life is made interesting with an imagination and like anything, it takes exercise to strengthen. Bench press a book! Workout your dreams!

You’ll benefit by reading, a realm of pure imagination. You make the sets, you envision the characters, you direct the action!

I recommend reading widely. By the time I was 14 I’d read thousands of books from dozens of genres. Thousands of comic books, hundreds of non-fiction books, thousands of magazines. I’d read the Bible, the Koran, the Upanishads, Sun Tzu, even the Peal of Wisdom. I was, unfortunately, stuck reading English, yet loved the plays of the Greeks and even the French. German plays were weird, even in the translations. I can’t help but know things.

I don’t read quite as much as I used to. Barely 24 – 30 novels a year, just a smattering of non-fiction. I admit I love comics, but no way I’ll spend that kind of money of them (thank goodness for libraries). My Kindle has hundreds of books I have yet to read.

And I still live a full life.

Read. It’s good for you. And for authors.

Give the Gift of Adventure!

There were two times a year that I looked forward to as a kid when it came to reading. The beginning of the school year when we got the Scholastic order form was the first. My parents were the most generous people on the planet because I’d come home with almost every book checked. They always got them for me. They’d come in a tall stack (20 to 30 books), and for the next couple weeks I was consumed. Books are always an adventure (mine can’t help but reflect that).

The second was Christmas. When my parents realized that I was ready for adult-level books by sixth-grade, they began to give me their favorite books, some from the 40’s, some contemporary, many before I’d read them :).

They also joined book clubs left and right (so did I back when money was available). Today, my sisters have boxes of books they ship from house to house (the worst thing about living 3000 miles away).

Here we are a Christmas and I’d be remiss not to remind you of the amazing possibilities that Prevail Press offers.

Books that are a True Gift!

Got kids?  For the grade schoolers, may I suggest Always Look for the Magic by Bonnie Manning Anderson, and Do Angels Still Fall? by Robert Alexander Swanson (me; and parents, read with your kids!).

Teenagers? How about Me and the Maniac in Outer Space also by me.

Married, young or… not so young? To encourage romance, Cherishing Us! by Tom and Debi Walter, and to encourage longevity, 7 Essentials to Grow Your Marriage by Steve and Cindy Wright.

Ladies who love historical fiction? We have Through the Eyes of Grace by Debi Walter.

Artists? Creativity Wears Boots by me again. Or Faces and Fantasy, a coloring book by Dawn Davidson.

Christians wanting to grow? Against the Current – Biblical Worldview, a Guide to Culture Change our newest book by Bill Hufford, and So Many Mountains, Which Ones to Climb? What Really Matters in Church Life by Aron Osborne.

Get the whole stack! They look great on a book shelf (you should see mine!)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Decade!