Daily Reading

For books are more than books, they are the life / The very heart and core of ages past”

Amy Lowell

The great thing about reading is that it is about self-improvement, broadening horizons, learning—all that good stuff having to do with growing as a person.

For a long time it seemed like I was just reading for school, because my parents told me to or because I was “supposed” to do it (aside for Spider-Man comics, of course), so it’s taken me a while to understand that when I’m reading, I am reading.

The author isn’t there to see that I read every word or understand every thought. There are no S.A.T. proctors watching my every move, checking to see if am actually reading as they prepare test questions. There is no one to disappoint, upset or ignore. It’s just me and what’s in front of me.

A few years ago, and maybe it actually started further back, in college, I figured out that I am very comfortable not only with skipping uninteresting paragraphs and chapters, but also, I can toss entire books and authors who don’t catch my attention or who just rub me the wrong way.

It’s not like I have to write a book report about Wuthering Heights when I’d rather be reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or something. I can approach my reading how I want to. I can spend time with whomever I want to spend time with. I love that.

I try to read every day.

Sometimes it’s only 15 or 20 minutes. At worst, I struggle through a couple paragraphs or a single poem during my break at the library. Sometimes I manage to start and finish a book in a few days. If it’s non-fiction that uses a lot of marketing tactics rather than offering relevant and substantive content, it takes me one quiet evening to get through with an acceptable level of absorption. Have to learn time management & desk organization skills somehow, right?

It’s so important to keep that reading life alive.

There’s a stack of library books on my desk that, at this point, I’ve either scanned a few pages of or have actually started reading. Chances are, some I just won’t get to. That’s okay, though, because I can’t read everything that’s out in the world and, truth be told, I don’t really want to.

I read to find new people and ideas, to connect disparate parts of my life with someone else’s life. I read to focus in on what’s important and to let go of what brings me down. I love reading. I just hope my eyes don’t fail me when I get to the really good stuff. I don’t think they make audio books of treatises on natural magic. Or do they??

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