View On Inspiration

by Charlene Paul

I love to read. I mean, I really love to read. Newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes, billboards — you name it, I love to read it. But my very favorite things to read are books. I can easily get so lost in a book that I forget the dog’s nutritional needs, the laundry in the washer, the water in the garden, and meeting a deadline. I love reading so much that I could almost forget to eat – almost. Pouring over the written word while snacking on something sweet, or crunchy and salty is a cherished pastime.

It is amazing how much the world of technology has changed the world of reading. There are lots of options for reading books besides handling the books themselves. I can read books on my phone, on my computer, or on any of my other electronic devices. I don’t need to haul a bag full of books when I travel, and I even have the option of letting someone else do the reading while I simply listen.

But there is something about holding a book in my hands and being able to flip the pages that gets my blood flowing. Tossing my phone into my purse doesn’t compare to dragging a backpack full of books to my desired destination. Reading in the dark with a backlit device can’t hold a lantern to reading in the dark with a flashlight. Big books, little books, picture books, poetry books, cookbooks, how-to books, textbooks, novels, biographies, history books, anything with pages and a cover, books are where it’s at for me.   

There are a million and one reasons to open a book and get lost in its pages. Here are ten:

  1. Getting into a good book is an escape from reality. Let’s face it, sometimes reality is just too real and being able to get lost in another realm is liberating.
  2. Books are rich sources of information and instruction.
  3. Reading reduces stress better than exercising or walking without ever breaking a sweat.
  4. Books transport us to another world which improves our imagination.
  5. Traveling to all corners of the universe is possible without ever leaving your cozy sofa.
  6. The aroma of freshly opened books is intoxicating. I love the smell of a library or a bookstore, especially old bookstores.
  7. Reading improves vocabulary as well as writing skills. Teachers agree that students who read do better in almost all aspects of school.
  8. Books are cheap entertainment, although my husband would probably disagree with that considering my penchant for walking out of the bookstore with a plethora of books.
  9. Reading inspirational books can inspire us to be better people. They can also inspire us to do things we didn’t think we were capable of doing.
  10. Books are better than movies. No matter how diligent movie writers, directors, and producers are in remaining true to the book, they can’t capture every nuance. And we are subject to their interpretation of the characters, settings, and action rather using our own imagination.

And while we’re on the subject of books, let’s not forget about book-lovers. Loving a book-lover isn’t hard and has several advantages. Here are a few:

  1. Book-lovers are easy to shop for. Anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, just find a good book, or better yet, give a gift card for a bookstore.
  2. Need a little alone time? Give your favorite book-lover a good book.
  3. Book-lovers rarely commandeer the remote.
  4. Teaming with a book-lover for a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, or Jeopardy makes you look extra smart.
  5. Book-lovers always have good book recommendations.

If someone asked me to name my all-time favorite book, I would be hard-pressed to come up with just one. But I do have favorites:

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie was published in 1936, and the lessons it teaches about successful relationships have proven timeless.
  2. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is a poignant true story about Albom’s relationship with his college professor, Morrie Schwartz. Although he had lost touch with Schwartz, by a simple twist of fate, he had the opportunity to reconnect, ask questions, and receive wisdom from his professor.
  3. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom tells the story of two spinster sisters and their elderly father. They were an unassuming family who became leaders in the Dutch Underground during World War II. All three ended up in Nazi concentration camps, but only Corrie survived. Her story is riveting and teaches lessons in not only survival but in gratitude.
  4. Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculèe Ilibagiza is a miraculous story of survival during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. She embraces the power of prayer, discovers the importance of forgiveness, and shares what it means to truly forgive.
  5. Good to Great by Jim Collins unlocks the keys to greatness and sheds light on almost every area of management.
  6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is an incredible fantasy book that is difficult to describe. You’re just going to have to read it yourself.
  7. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box by Arbinger Institute was written to teach the keys of leadership; however, it also provides great insight into personal lives and relationships, as well.
  8. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is a roadmap to financial freedom and security. It is a great wedding gift for young people just beginning their adult lives.
  9. Scrum: the Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by J.J. Sutherland will help make life at work and home easier and happier.
  10. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson tells the story of the creative entrepreneur who lived a roller-coaster life and had an intense personality that drove him toward perfection in all he attempted.

Yes, I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie. Summertime in the Southwest is the perfect time to delve into the world of books and uncover the mysteries, journeys, instructions, and insights within their pages. Lose yourself in a good book and discover the magic of words.



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