The art of reading: Appreciating a good book

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.)

3 Comments

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  1. 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.

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  2. I’ve enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember. I’m sure that my parents reading to me and our weekly trips to the library had a lot do with it! But my sisters had the same upbringing I did, and aren’t really readers. So I guess, it was kind of meant to be for me ;).

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  3. I wholeheartedly agree. Even when I am not curled up with a book of some kind I will have Libby playing an audiobook on my phone or over my Alexa speaker. Also, listening to stories while getting groceries or running errands also helps make life that little bit sweeter at times.

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