My great-grandmother had one major life resolution: to learn something new every day. It’s a good and noble quest: to gain knowledge, wisdom, and understanding each and every day of our lives. How do we accomplish this? We learn in many ways: through questioning, through exploration, through experimentation, and so forth. However, one of the best and most powerful means of gaining information is reading.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!
There’s something tremendously powerful and almost magical about the written word. It gives us a window into the thoughts of people who lived long ago and far away. It enables us to interface with people we may never meet. Although our means of sharing it evolve and change, it remains an enduring method of communication and transmission of ideas.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles William Eliot
Looking back at my childhood, many of my fondest memories involve reading. Beginning at the earliest of ages, my parents read to my siblings and me. Even after we could read ourselves, storytime was a mainstay of our evening routine. The gravest and greatest of punishments was to be sent to bed without a story.
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Entranced by a particular plot, I would stay up to finish a chapter in bed armed with a flashlight and wouldn’t stop reading until the book was finished. Sprawled out on the living room floor, I traveled the world via books. Devouring both stories and facts, I read both fiction and nonfiction and learned without realizing it.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde
Sometime along the way, I stopped making reading a priority. It happened gradually with no one cause but a multitude of little excuses…I really miss it. I miss the feeling of being caught up in a fantasy world. I miss the beauty of vocabulary and phrasing. I miss expanding my viewpoint by seeing life through someone else’s eyes. I miss learning and growing. So I’m going to do something about it. Will you join me? Together, let’s make a resolution to be lifetime students and to make reading a priority, not just articles and blog posts, but well-written books and worthwhile literature as well.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. – C.S. Lewis