You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. Ray Bradbury, American author
Years ago, when audio books first came out, I listened to books as much as I read them. I lived in the country and had plenty of time driving on country roads with no traffic to safely enjoy listening to a book in the car. One of my book club members scoffed at the idea saying I hadn’t actually “read” the book we were reviewing because I had “listened” to it.
Fortunately, attitudes are changing and audio books are increasing in popularity. I agree with Niki Porter, Senior Editor of The Writer magazine, who writes, “There should be zero shame about listening to a book for pleasure versus reading one on paper. Stories bring people together. Never disparage how people consume them.” Read a book on paper, a screen, or with your ears. It doesn’t matter. Just read!
Affirmation: Reading enriches my life.
Coaching questions/request: What’s your favorite medium for reading? If you’re not reading, what’s keeping you away? If you’re not a paper/electronic book reader, try an audio book. Choose one that is professionally recorded. Samples are often free.
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The person who never reads lives only one. George R.R. Martin, author and creator of Game of Thrones
Today, I challenge you to put down your smart phone, turn off the tv, give the video game controller to your whiny little sister, and pick up a book. Not just any book, a good book. One that has a topic or story line that interests you. A book that tickles your imagination or challenges your thinking.
Did you know reading improves your concentration? It also improves discipline, memory, and builds self-esteem. It helps relieve stress and makes you more empathetic. You’ll have a better vocabulary and you’ll live longer if you’re a reader. I didn’t make this up. These facts are borne out by research and the World Literacy Foundation. I’m with Groucho Marx who said, “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” Way to go, Groucho.
Affirmation: I love to read.
Coaching questions: If you’re not a reader, what keeps you from it? How might reading enrich your life? If you are a reader, how will you share your love of reading with another person?
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison, English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician.
If you’re still not a reader, I haven’t given up on you. Studies show reading books improves cognitive function, working memory, and the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions. If you think you don’t have time to read, consider how much time you spend watching television, playing computer games, scrolling through social media, or checking email. If you spend a lot of time traveling, try audiobooks.
Here are a few suggestions for you—try it; you’ll like it!
- Favorite author—Pulitzer Prizer winner, Willa Cather – stories from the prairie
- Audio book “candy” – Janet Evanovitch series, Calypso by Sidaris
- Currently listening to – The President Is Missing
- Current Kindle book – The Good Thief, (just finished The Coffee Trader)
- Just finished paperback – News of the World
- Non-fiction – From Silk to Silicon, On Writing by Stephen King, A Mother Loss Workbook
Affirmation: Reading is life-changing.
Coaching questions: If you’re not a reader, what ’s keeping you away? Consider what you might be missing. If you are a reader, keep a journal of all the books you read, share books with friends and family, let others know about your passion for reading.
I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than a book! Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Like Jane, I too love to read. For me, books open up a whole world of knowledge, armchair travel, intriguing stories, and personalities. I read printed books, Kindle books, and books with my ears. I love them all! Here are a few books I’ve enjoyed recently.
Fiction—The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane – my favorite of 2017, The Great Alone – outback Alaska, Paris In the Present Tense – beautiful and weird at the same time
Just finished reading—-The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie – complex and a page turner, Love and Ruin – about Martha Gellhorn, WWII era, The Language of Flowers – coming of age story, you’ll love it if you like flowers
Audio books—The Flight Attendant – murder mystery, Calypso by humorist David Sedaris- fun and funny, Hillbilly Effigy – a memoir
Non-fiction—The Book of Joy – my favorite non-fiction of the decade! Dead Moms Club – a memoir, The Blue Zones – about aging well
Affirmation: Reading enriches my life.
Coaching questions: What do books mean to you? What have you read lately? If you’re not a reader, give it a try–read one book this month.