Why Not . . . Read? Part Trois
Wednesday April 13, 2011

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An opportunity to get lost in the moment, to step away from the busy world and find a home away from home.  For me, a book can accomplish each of these three things which serves as a reminder of how vital the regular act of reading is in daily life. The challenging part is, once school is finished, it lies in the hands of the reader to actively seek out reading material, whether it be a book, newspaper, magazine, or journal and choose to absorb and comprehend what is being shared.

Based on the response to the first to parts of this three part series (Part One & Part Two), it seems that many of you consider reading a vital part of your lives, and I have enjoyed hearing how you incorporate it into a regular day. Today, I’d like to share five final ways that reading can benefit and enrich your life. Let’s get started.

Discover Something New

When the daily grind finds you uninspired and aching for a dose of energy and pizzazz to perk your spirits with new ideas, the quickest remedy is to read. Pick up a magazine at the library that has always caught your eye, read the biography of a historical figure that always intrigued you, purchase a “how-to” book to take your hobby to the next level, whatever it is, be willing to open your mind and learn something new.  This simple practice will always keep you young at heart.

Improve Self-Discipline

By choosing to be an avid reader, following through and finishing the books you choose to enjoy, you strengthen the muscle of self-discipline. Choosing to take the time to complete a book seems like a simple thing to do, but with the busy lives so many people lead, the decision to slow down and focus on one thing is harder than it seems sometimes. Not only will your self-discipline improve, but your patience as well, as any book worth its salt needs to be poured over and absorbed, not merely scanned and put away after a few moments.

Improve Analytical Skills

Choosing to read challenging literature, in which the author skillfully presents multiple themes and motifs, alongside allusions, gorgeous imagery and carefully constructed characters as well as so many other literary devices, the reader increases their analytical abilities which can carry over into all areas of life (examples – spotting patterns quicker, understanding the connotations instantly, and becoming a more engaging conversationalist with a quicker wit). So while Tolstoy’s War and Peace may be daunting, take on the challenge and you may be surprised by the many benefits you reap upon completion.

Establish Moments of Serenity

The power of taking a book off the shelf, out of your purse or off the table is that you are inviting a moment of pause, a moment of one solitary action that requires your full attention. The ability to make time to read and eliminate distractions is a priceless luxury and I hope that you are able to carve out such time regularly as it will sooth your soul, act as a free therapy and improve your intellect simultaneously.

Increase Confidence

The magic of being an avid reader is that you always have something to talk about that is substantive and thought-provoking.  Simply knowing this is something nobody can take away, and that is a building of self-confidence that you have complete control over. Have you ever been in a situation when someone alludes to a recent world event or a classic novel and you haven’t a clue as to what they are talking about? Instead of looking at your feet, choose to continually educate yourself in areas of interest to you and that benefit your community and your life.  You’ll be amazed by the subtle, yet sound confidence boost you will receive that comes with knowing when someone is spouting nonsense or truly being honest about the facts.

Happy reading everyone! Care to share what you are enjoying at the moment? I’d love to hear and am always looking to add another book to my nightstand.

10 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Read? Part Trois

  1. Hi Shannon, I have just started reading The Paris Wife, a novel written by Paula McLain. This book is about Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage..so far so good…I’m only up to page 90, so after I have read it to the end I’ll let you know what I think…Loved the beautiful pictures…Thanks

  2. I read War & Peace this year on my Kindle, in airports, and I’m glad that’s over! It’s a soap opera! maybe the first soap opera, but still.

    Give me a biography any day – I have just finished George Washington, His Slaves and The Glass Castle, both utterly engrossing.

  3. I’ve always been a fiction reader but have really gotten into biographies this year. I’ve finally gotten back into reading after a few years of not being able to find the time or energy to read. Now that my kids are 4 and 2, I’m carving out some time for reading and truly finding myself again!

    Tricia Rose, I read the Glass Castle and loved it. Also recent reads: Them by Francine Du Plessix Gray, Just Kids by Patti Smith (never was into her music but LOVED this book!), and presently reading My Life In France by Julia Child. Also slowly reading through Apollo’s Angels by Jennifer Homans.

    Luxe, I love this regular series. Ever consider doing it on an ongoing basis? Maybe start an online book club?

    Love your blog! —Hope

  4. Your blog still remains to be my number one 🙂
    It is funny you choose to write about reading. This week I started going out with a guy who totally won me over with, well, with many things one of which was his choice of books and the fact that he reads so much considering his (our) age and his profession (an athlete). Ahh..I think I am in love 🙂

    Stay fabulous!

    La Kat

  5. Monteen – I have been curious about The Paris Wife. I will wait patiently for your review. Looks very interesting.

    La Kat – he sounds like a keeper. 😉 Thank you for your very kind comment. xo

    Anonymous – thank you for such a great list and you have my mind now turning about a possible book club. I’ll have to try to figure out how to make it work. A fantastic idea!

  6. I’ve just finished ‘The Elegance of a Hedgehog’ which I think all you Francophiles will love. I’m now reading ‘The Savvy Life’ (as recommended by this bog!) and also ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ (which is so disturbing that I have to read some chapters and then close it for a few days before going back to it).

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