Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 14 - Exercise for the Mind

"The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination." -Elizabeth Hardwick (American literary critic and author)

Are you a reader? Reading is one of the best ways to build confidence and actually become a more interesting person. It is also a way to increase your understanding of the human condition, of other cultures and explore different interests. You know all this right? I am not stating anything new… but do you do it?

I was at a dinner party a couple weeks ago and a conversation started about the books we’ve read lately. There was so much variety as one woman described her love of both fiction and historical biographies. She told us about a few of the books she’d read recently, some of which my husband read in the past year as well. They exchanged thoughts and connected through this shared interest.

There is a reason that Oprah’s book club is one of the most popular initiatives she’s started. There is joy that comes from reading. There is great catharsis that can come from getting so involved in a story that you actually experience the emotions of the characters yourself. When reading biographies, one of my favorite genres personally, you get the chance to glimpse in on someone else’s life. Have you ever just thought to yourself “If only I could be a fly on the wall in that person’s house”… well, when reading someone’s life story, you basically get to! I also love to read self-help/therapy books as a way to learn and develop my skills. There is always more to learn, no  matter what your career or interests.

Here are a few other reasons to hit the books:

·         Reading improves your concentration.
·         Reading develops discipline.
·         Reading can improve your vocabulary.
·         Reading is to the brain like running is for the heart. It is a good workout!

Check out this article on Oprah’s website for more benefits.

So... Your small thing for the weekend is: Read something! Choose whatever kind of reading material you want... magainzes, an online news source, fiction, non... whatever sounds good at the time! Think of it as a workout for your mind!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I agree! I love reading. I just finished The Emperor of All Maladies, and let me tell you, this non-medicine minded woman learned all about cancer! The author (I couldn't attempt to spell his name, sorry) wrote in easy to understand terms, but the sheer scope of the book blew me away.

    My hubby and I gave our kids a reading challenge. It's fun watching them get excited about books!