Reading Books

So in the midst of a busy Tuesday – riding, laundry, shopping – last week I went to the library and quickly collected four books, all different, and so far, all good. If you want to see what they are, visit Goodreads where I have updated my ‘currently reading’ shelf.

The interesting thing is, so far, that apart from being grateful that they are all good enough to keep me reading to the end – some are better than merely good – these books have all, in their varying ways, reminded me of something valuable. Something to do with the importance of language to communicate experiences that I won’t be living directly. More than I’m usually aware, I’m learning from even fairly fanciful plots – I will never live in a lighthouse on a tidal island or run my own village bakery – about motivation, what love means, and why it matters that we should each make our individual and very particular contributions to the world.

I hope to review each of these books. Meantime, it is a wonderful relief to reacquaint myself with the thought that reading books – good books – is good for me and goes way beyond mere escapism or time filling. I read quickly and sometimes deliberately to forget stuff going on, or to allow my head some down time. For example, it is better for me to read books in the evenings, tucked up in bed, than to spend hours staring at the computer, checking messages in the blinding white back-light that keeps me awake for far too long afterwards.

Reading encourages the discipline of getting to bed at a reasonable time, and staying there; a discipline worth encouraging after years spent endlessly thinking, typing, plotting and planning. If I can glean some value from what other authors are plotting, then so much the better.

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