September 21, 2012
Do you prefer your own dreams or those of someone else? Reading stimulates the creative area of the mind to produce alternate realities. There is no substitute for reading. As the commercial says, “Reading is Fundamental”.
I can remember the first time I got lost in a book. I was in first grade, sitting in the library with the rest of my class, and the teacher was calling my name as the class was over. I never heard her. I was so enthralled with reading that the rest of the class was out the door and the teacher had to come over to me and tap me on the shoulder. That is the power of reading. From that moment on, I knew I had found something special. I thought that reading was the ticket to go places, experience things, and immerse myself so completely all with the power of a good book. I have never found a valid replacement for reading.
Movies have their place, and there is nothing like a good movie. But realize that it is anothers’ view. Not yours. You don’t really have the power to daydream with a movie. It happens too fast on anothers’ time table. All those images speeding by and your brain trying to make sense of the images. With reading, you can stop and ponder. You can go back and reread a passage. You can build your own fantasy out of the raw material in the book. There is no substitute for reading.
I take books with me when I know I will be waiting a fair amount of time. For instance, when I go to the doctor’s office. The waiting time is usually long, and I like to fill the time with a good book. I don’t even notice the wait, and sometimes don’t even like to get interrupted! Yes, books take the boring parts out of life. How about a plane trip? When you can immerse yourself in a book, then nod off, and wake up in a different city is a real pleasure. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without reading.
Has reading become a lost art? I went to the library the other day and saw what kids were checking out. The ratio leaned more towards videos than books. Something like eighty percent. I got quite depressed. These kids need to read more, not watch more. Are we going to lose a generation of creativity? By looking at the checkout line I can see it happening. This is the parents fault, not the kids. Parents need to enforce the importance of reading, not watching movies. The ratio needs to reverse itself.
Reading can bridge the gap between the known and the unknown. Want to experience what it is like to row across the ocean? Read. Get into the book so you can smell the saltwater. Know what it’s like to capsize in a storm. Taste the ocean, collapse from exhaustion, placate those sore arms and boil-encrusted rear end. That is reading. To cry with the author because you miss your family. You might not get there alive! You might end up in Davy Jones’s Locker! Talk about being petrified. Like the great movie director Alfred Hitchcock said, “Fear is all in the mind”. It is not required to shove blood and guts down someones throat, it is more scary when your mind creates it’s own fear. That is the power of reading.
Yes, books are the seed of creativity. Movies can be the result. And reading is the ticket to get there.
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