The art of reading: Appreciating a good book Read as much and as frequently as you can. That's the key in life.

My previous post was about using an original, unique, singular voice in your writing.

Before that, I wrote about the decline of good, reliable journalism, and before that about how writing has changed in the digital age.

For all intents and purposes, all of those posts were about appreciating the art of writing. Now I want to take a moment to appreciate the art of reading.

Much like with writing, reading is an art that mustn’t necessarily be mastered, but at the very least should be valued and hopefully revered.

Sustained reading seems to be losing steam in our current society. Everything is short social media posts, text messages and headlines. The ability to sit for an extended period of time and read, like we used to do as kids in elementary school, is lacking. And with that, we lose our ability to truly engage with an educating medium.

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We should all be more like Philipp Meyer, who said, “Any book that has the potential to teach me something about anything, I get it right away.”

To be completely honest, any book that gets someone reading is a step in the right direction. Sure, I know most of you, if not all, have no problem sitting down and reading an entire book, but a lot of people I know truly struggle with it. At one point in my life, so did I.

When I was a kid, I rarely read. One day I asked my mom if she’d take me to Borders to get a book.

“Why don’t you read one of the ones we have here?” she asked. We had a decent library of chapter books at home.

“I don’t want to read any of those. I want to pick out my own.”

She was reluctant toward my stubborn and slightly greedy request, but with the hope that buying me a new book, a book of my choosing, would get me reading, we went to the store. I picked out The Creek by Jennifer L Holm, and I read it. And I actually enjoyed it.

Suddenly, reading was part of my life. (That book still sits on my bookshelf today.)

6 thoughts on “The art of reading: Appreciating a good book Read as much and as frequently as you can. That's the key in life.

  1. I started reading very early on. Staying up late under the covers with my flashlight, past my curfew. It was my outlet. Something I could emerge myself into and “fly away” in the the world of wonder where various cool things happened. Elementary school, junior high, high school, I read through them all. During my university days, I started reading less. There was more social life and I had to research a lot of things (on the computer) for various essays and projects. When I started working, free time became scarce, and so reading was on the back burner. Lately, I am making a conscious effort to read more. Even if I find some stories online, I print them out, so I can read it just like a paper book.

    1. It’s sad, really, how reading takes a backseat to the rest of life as we get older. It’s certainly happened to me. But I’m like you: Making a conscious effort to find time to read whenever I can. Takes a commitment!

  2. I carry my kindle with me so I can read in lineups, and have a book holder so I can prop my paper library book up and eat lunch without getting minestrone on the pages. It’s easier when your kids are older but usually people with no reading time are filling it with something else. I sat beside someone at the clinic who had not time for books, but was playing candy crush on her phone. My siblings all read, and our idea of a nightmare plane ride is discovering we’ve left our book at home. Thanks for your great blog posts on writing, too.

  3. It is sad that so many have lost the enjoyment of reading. Your observations are right on the mark. Thank you for highlighting Ed. Hopefully, families and teachers will take up the baton: home and schools played a big part in getting past generations into the enjoyment of books. Let us hope articles like yours get more of them back into the habit.

Thoughts?