Around twelve months ago, I rediscovered my love for reading. I’ve always adored books and being a writer, reading has been a huge part of my life. But for a period of time, I didn’t read many books. I stopped reading my favourite magazines and sadly, a lot of the stuff I’d read online was utter crap and quite possibly killing off some of my brain cells.
I put it down to a fairly busy period in my life; a period where I felt quite stressed at times and I guess reading took a back seat. I can’t quite express how great it feels kicking off the new year having read at least twenty books in the past twelve months and list of titles I’m aiming to tick off my list in 2016. I’ve even bookmarked a bunch of websites that I find inspiring, positive and thought provoking – call me a nerd, I say I’m just passionate and organised!
Going back to my main reason as to why I stopped reading – not having the time. I say this now and think it’s such a cop out. Reading relaxes me, so it would’ve been a great tool to help relieve the stresses that were plaguing me. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so I’ll keep this point in mind next time I’m feeling a little brain-cluttered.
I hear people say that they don’t have time for reading a lot. This makes me sad. We have time to sit on our phones and computers all throughout the day, looking at the same ol’ mundane stuff on social media, but say we don’t have time to read things that inspire us, make us better human beings, or expand our minds. I know, sometimes you just want to get lost in something light and fuzzy or a place far, far away that doesn’t necessarily require a lot of brainpower.
Here’s the thing though – reading is so crucial to helping us discover who we are, to improving our intelligence, opening our minds and, as mentioned before, making us better humans – why waste it on meaningless stuff? Why read things that don’t do all those above things, plus transport you to somewhere else? That’s what reading is all about.
I feel like I’m a much better human after reading a good book. Hang on, let me re-phrase that – I feel like I’m better equipped to be a much better human after reading a good book. When I say good book, I know that could mean something very different for everyone. My tip is to look at the things you might currently be reading, especially online. Question whether what you are clicking on constantly is giving you something of purpose – inspiration, ideas, knowledge and a greater understanding of things. This will give you a good starting point to finding new and great reading material.
Something as simple as typing ‘books I should read’ into Google will give you plenty of places to start. Of course you’ll have to filter through an abundance of choices (some might not be to your taste), but just select two or three titles to get started with and you’re on your way. Do the same thing for magazines and websites. Maybe add the word ‘inspiring’ to your Google search if that’s the path you want to head down.
In the last year, I’ve read everything from Amy Poehler’s Yes Please to Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. I believe I’ve become more in touch with my compassionate side and my understanding and acceptance of how everyone is different. I’ve become comfortable with calling myself a feminist and continue to believe in the powers of laughter and keeping positive. I’ve read some really great stories, make-believe and founded in reality. Something as simple as reading words on a page has given me all of the above – I think that’s pretty great.