Tag Archives: reading

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.

Passion Ignites!

I love books. I love writing books. I love reading books. Where did all that passion come from? I’m happy to tell you. 🙂

Fifty years ago, when I was five years old, I began dislocating my right hip. Not on purpose, mind you, just by walking, or turning, or playing soccer (which is why I hate soccer). Fortunately, I learned to read when I was 4. This becomes relevant later.

After a year of doctors, I got a diagnosis. And crutches. And a “he’ll never walk again” admonition. This did nothing for my social life. Six-year-old kids were about playing. I couldn’t, so my friendships went on hold.

Fifty years ago, there was no Internet, no video games, four TV channels, no VCR or DVDs. The only thing to do was read and read I did. I read the grade school library that first year. The second year, I worked on the Jr. High library, and the 3rd year the public library. Books were my only friends and I was never lonely. That and inexperienced doctors who didn’t know much about my bone disease. The first doctor was wrong. My right leg healed in 14 months. Then my left leg got it but after 3 years I could walk again!

Spider-Man leaning on concrete brick while reading book
I love comic books, too!  (Thank you, Raj Eiamworakul from UpSplash!)

Funny thing, though. After three years of reading way above grade, playing was dull. So was school. Books never got dull.

That’s why I love books.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about my writing journeys, and eventually how Prevail Press, a home for today’s writers, came about. Stay tuned, er… place a bookmark! Yeah, that fits the metaphor better…