Get yourself addicted
There’s a lot of addictions in this world and most of them are
pretty bad for you. I for one eat far too many biscuits that are advisable for
a man of my age. But there’s one addiction that I’m proud of and isn’t bad for
you. And that’s reading books.
Can you read too many books? I don’t think you can. The worst
that can happen to you is that your knowledge increases and you’re suddenly
able to spell more words than you could beforehand. Employers will gaze in
wonder at your applications and relatives will bow down to your knowledge.
Moreover, a good novel – or, hey, any Captain Underpants title – will
allow you to get into the mind of someone in a way that a film or anything else
does not. A story gives you the very thoughts of a person in a way that even
the best actor finds hard to convey. You see their feelings. In fact, in the
hands of a good author, you become
the character, at least for a little while. Fancy being a pirate?
Or want to understand what it’s like being from a different culture or country?
Well, now you can. And, today, when it seems all about “us” and “them”, this
ability cannot be over-rated. Empathy is the thing.
Speaking of over-rated, sure, a film has a lot of special
effects but that’s nothing compared to a good book. Read and you get full
surround-sound 360 degrees vision and the best special effects you can have,
because they’re not on your eyeball, they’re in
your head. Even virtual reality is only as good as the designer,
while there is some sort of strange magic in the book that connects directly to
the imagination neurons on the brain.
And that’s a thing, books may be one of our older forms of
communication but they’re still one of the best. Time travel is possible in a
book. Instantaneous travel anywhere in the universe can go on amongst its
pages. Fall in love on a spaceship or discover a new way of thinking over a
couple of bits of paper.
So, today, take up a book. You should have one or be able to buy
one. Or, if not, borrow one from the library, either by going there or online
these days, and grab yourself a moment. Six minutes is enough to reduce your
stress (here’s the research) and if you’ve got a kid, ten minutes can change
their life (here’s some more).
So, read a book today. And get addicted. In a good way