The Medicine of Reading

Wow, looks like WordPress updated their posting tools and webpage as I’m writing this. Nifty!

I love reading. I really do. I also love a lot of other things that like to consume my time. Video games, movies, hanging out with my close friend. I always know that a quick or long read will be waiting for me whenever i need it. Doesn’t matter where I am or how I feel when I grab that book – the text will remain the same and draw me in.

I usually feel a sort of accomplishment after a good reading session. I ALWAYS feel one after finishing a long book I’ve been working on for weeks (See: Lord of the Rings). It made me get to thinking, how exactly does reading seem to grant these sort of pleasurable emotions. Sure, we’re reading a hopefully engaging story. Though at its simplest a book stands to be nothing more than text on a page!

I came across this article on the Wall Street Journal. Go give it a read. It pulls from a lot of various studies since the late 90’s that show the social, academic, and mental abilities of frequent reading. I won’t go into the specifics of the article, cause that’s boring and you can read that on your own, right? We’ve just established that its a good thing, after all!

So why do we find it so difficult to just sit down and make time to read these days? I admit, I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. Those other things I mentioned earlier…tend to give them way more attention than the books. Sometimes the flashes and colors of other forms of entertainment just draw me in. I don’t get the same feelings though that I do while reading. Whenever I feel like I’m in a bad place, I find much more success after reading in improving my emotions. In a happy place? Well reading seems to just heighten those things as well! I really need to work on my habits. I know what works best for me, I just have a hard time getting to do it.

So how often do you read and do you wish you did it more often? Do you feel reward type emotions afterwards? Let me know!

Three Reasons Why You Should Gamble*

*With books.

I’ve only been at this game of mine for three weeks, but I have to share how incredible the experience has been. Here are my top three reasons why you should go out and join me in the game!

THE ADVENTURE

When you first pick up a new book – do you not quickly flip through the book and look ahead at what’s to come? Now, I don’t mean reading the last few pages. Just a few seconds glance as the pages dance before your eyes. For now, you’re only on page one. Soon, you’ll be missing the way you felt before you knew what wonders the book you once held ignorance too contained.

When you go and pick some book at random, you truly have NO idea what you’re getting into. Sure, it may turn out for the worse; as it certainly has for me. Though half the fun lies in the fact that the book you choose may be an unsung hero. A book not many know and even fewer love. Something to tell your friends about, brag that you found a treasure simply by chance. I guess you can kind of become a literary hipster in this sense..

Also, reading these books gives you a new appreciation for all the types of styles and vocabulary out there. You may pick up a book three decades old and find it could have been written in 2015…or 1815! Expanding your bookshelf also expands your expertise, and what a fun way to do it this can be!

THE COST

So perhaps you’re already a book lover, or perhaps not. After three weeks and three books, I’ve only spent about $8. Just two nights ago, I spent $30 on one meal with some friends. I couldn’t help but think about how many books that would get me. How many hours and hours of reading and physical fun it would bring me.

When it comes to entertainment, nothing like a great book truly offers the best dollar per time spent. Not only will you spend hours reading the book itself, but it will stay with you. Whatever you read sticks in your head. The book becomes something to reference, read over and over, or just show off on the bookshelf.

Doing something of this sort really gives a bang for the buck. The books are yours to keep as long as you wish for such a bargain. Hey, and maybe while you’re browsing the shelves you’ll come across another book you’ve already been looking for. Hard to find any better deals than at Half-Price Books honestly! Go ahead and grab it.

THE FREEDOM

So, have I sold you on going out there and getting a random book yet? Good. Now. The real beauty is that you can do whatever you want with this idea. Make your own rules. Don’t make any rules at all. Expand your genres. Stick to only one. Go find books you’ve never heard of, or maybe just ones you have been meaning to get to for a while now.

You can share your experiences with the world or do it only for you. In the end, I can assure you that being creative with something you’re interested in like I am really pays off. It only strengthens your want to get out there and explore, so go do it!