For 2017, I plan to keep a list of all the books I read. I’m curious to see how many I finish in a year and what subjects I investigate. I’ve already added Wired for Love:How Understanding Your Partners Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship and The Luckiest Girl Alive. Admittedly, I started both of them in 2016, but it feels good to start strong with my list. Wired for Love is non-fiction and The Luckiest Girl Alive is fiction. Both will keep you up late at night. Wired for Love gave me game-changing information to apply to my love life. Luckiest Girl, is pure edgy, even slightly disturbing, entertainment.
My Grandpa Knowles was an avid reader. I can picture him sitting in his armchair with the gold striped upholstery, legs crossed, glasses on, cocktail on end table, book in lap. Between books and crossword puzzles, Grandpa’s brain never dulled. He was sharp as a tack, living on his own right up until the end. The health benefits of keeping your brain agile are well documented. He used to talk about Mexico all the time. He talked about the women, music and food. Have you ever tried menudo Bren? It’s a Mexican soup made with tripe. What’s tripe, you ask? Cow’s stomach. Grandpa always wanted to go to Mexico. To my knowledge, he never went. Books and the local Mexican restaurant took him there.
Because of reading, my vocabulary is decent. I’ve always kept a dictionary or Google close at hand when I read to look up unfamiliar words, like tripe.
Over the years, I’ve collected a number of authors I consider friends, mentors and therapists, in my mind. Authors like, Brenda Ueland (writing), Marti Olsen Laney (introversion) and Stan Tatkin (forming secure relationships) changed the course of my life. I’m not joking. They each introduced me to an aspect of myself I hadn’t yet discovered and gave me the inspiration and courage to invest in its development.
Yes, reading inspires. This post was inspired by someone else’s article on the powers of reading. The article on the powers of reading was not well written, but the message rang true and ultimately moved me to write this little post you are now reading.:)
I once read that reading and literature teach us about humanity. I agree. Through reading we get in other people’s heads and hearts. We get to learn what it’s like to live on the other side of the world or in a totally different century. We gain perspective and empathy. Two qualities I highly value.
I read Tim Ferriss’s book, The 4-Hour Work Week years ago. In it, he said he only reads fiction before bed to help turn his work/thinking brain off. He likes to escape into other people’s stories and not think about his. Because of his written words, I started reading fiction again after a seven-year stint of pure non-fiction.
One of my favorite aspects of my jobs —personal coaching and writing — is the requirement to read and do research. I enter flow mode when sitting with my personal development and relationship books, highlighting the heck out of them, soaking up insight. Intoxicating. I can’t believe I managed to work my love of reading into a career I get paid to do!
Most nights, right before bed, I read. Fiction. Nothing, well almost nothing, relaxes me more than reading. If I wake up in the middle of the night, mind buzzing, I reach for one of the three or four books on my nightstand. In these instances, I may read non-fiction, figuring I’m getting ahead with my work research. 🙂 Usually, reading eases me back to sleep. It eases me back to calm.
What could you write a love letter to? What makes your world go ’round? How does reading light up your world?
I’m now in my 11th year of keeping a list of everything I read during the year. It’s helpful not only to make sure I don’t re-read something accidentally (I frequently re-read on purpose!) but it also is like a journal, telling me what I was interested in and where I spent my time. It’s a great habit and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!