November 1    

Today's quotation:

The greatest gift is the passion for reading.  It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you a knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.  It is a moral illumination.

Elizabeth Hardwick

Today's Meditation:

Reading is such a wonderful way to expand our minds and hearts that it's somewhat amazing that so few of us make time for it regularly.  We get caught up with life, with work, with family, with everything, and we find that we don't have time to sit down for a couple of hours with a good novel or a good book about some topic that truly interests us.  The time we spend reading, though, can be some of the most valuable time of our lives-- yet while we find that it's necessary to watch certain shows every week, we don't feel the same need to read.

There are, of course, many people who read regularly.  They allow themselves to learn about new topics, experience new ideas, and follow exciting and fascinating stories.  They learn how different characters deal with life situations, and they feel sympathy for the good guys and antipathy for the bad.  They experience joy and fear and dread and relief as their characters-- fictional and real-life-- make their ways through trials and conflicts that we can only imagine.

I know that reading has enriched my life immensely, and I often wish that I had more time to read.  The benefits of reading are immense, yet I find myself often doing other things that don't have nearly as many benefits for me, simply because that's where I am in life, and this class has to be planned, and these papers or tests need to be graded.  I still fit in reading wherever I can, and I treasure the times that I'm able to spend with good books.  Not so much the time spent with bad books, of course, but I try to minimize that.

I like to read because when I do read, I understand life and living better.  Authors tend to be great observers, and what they share with us often gives us the chance to see things from the outside and understand them from an objective perspective rather than having to go through all the trials that the characters experience.  And with that understanding I can move through life more strongly and more confidently, dealing with things from a broader perspective and a deeper understanding of human nature, life, and the world I live in.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so easy for so many people to put reading so low on their list of priorities?

What are some of the benefits of reading that you've experienced?

What was the last book that you read?  What did you learn from it?

For further thought:

The art of reading is in great part that of acquiring a better understanding of life from one's encounter with it in a book

André Maurois

more thoughts and ideas on reading



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