“Aren’t you bored with just reading books when you are on work leave?”
Well, aren’t you bored with just hanging out with the same group of friends? At least with books, I can expect something new almost every time.
And contrary to popular belief, I don’t only read during my free time. I also write (nerd alert!), and I constantly have a list of chores that need attending to.
Of course, that question is usually asked by those who don’t read. Those who do already know the magic behind reading.
I think it goes without saying that those of us who love to write naturally love to read. Why else would we like to write? We like to read about others’ experiences, how they so eloquently put them into words, how their words are capable of transporting us into their worlds. We also gain new knowledge from their writing. I first learned about autism when I read “A Friend Like Henry” by Nuala Gardner many years ago, and became quite interested in this condition that I ended up buying a few other books relating to autism (the latest being “To Siri, With Love” by Judith Newman, which I just finished last night).
Books have a way of teaching you things that you will normally not be interested in enough to learn. In between the plot and the characters that bring the stories alive, good writers are able to weave in facts, whether historical, medical or just general knowledge, into their books and without realising it, we learn things that we thought we never would have been interested in.
Admittedly, self-improvement books are way less interesting than books that tell a story. The anticipation of what is going to happen next and how is the book going to end makes the book unputdownable, keeping me up until it is absolutely time for me to go to bed. I have learned not to beat myself up for reading “useless” books instead of, say, “Who Says You Can’t? You Do” by Daniel Chidiac (which I am in the process of reading now, but as expected, at a slower pace than the storybooks I am also reading). It is better to read anything, than to not read at all.
In addition to books, I also love to read blog posts. I am always so amazed at how most of you are able to write so beautifully. Your vocabulary, your choice of words, how you string them together to form a piece of art capable of tugging hearts and forming smiles or tears. It is remarkable how you, a complete stranger to me, are able to make me feel like I am going through what you have written. Your writings bring me a little closer to you. They make me feel like I know you. Like we are old friends. We are able to form connections without directly connecting, and that is truly beautiful.
And because of all the benefits we gain from reading, we learn to write too, in hope that we too can bring the same joy and benefit to others.
So read on and write on, my friends.