So far this year, my monthly book-ish questions have been deep topics. In January I asked if reading had lost its fun factor; last month the question was about deep reading habits. My question for March is (hopefully) thought-provoking and little “lighter.”
What life habits or interests have come from being a reader?
When I posed this question to myself, it sounded like a simple question. There are certainly some easy things to rattle off, like journaling and blogging. But as I moved about my day and thought more consciously, I discovered things I took for granted.
From Nonfiction Reading …
- Curiosity. I’m always game to learn – or try – something new. If there is something I don’t know, I will search the interwebs or find a book. If I want a different way to cook chicken … I find a new recipe.
- Open and questioning mind. For better or worse, it is hard for me to take things at face value. Ask Bill, he thinks I’m nuts in how I view and analyze and question television commercials!
- Writing. I am a list maker. I keep a To-do list and am notorious for breaking down a project into its component parts (and doing them in order). Did it come from being a reader? Maybe not directly, but I think subconsciously, I have absorbed the “just the facts” and linear models in nonfiction books that help organize ideas and concepts.
From Fiction Reading …
- Empathy and compassion. From picture books to young adult, there are characters who have opened my heart in ways I didn’t know existed. These people and stories make me think beyond myself.
- Awareness. Thanks to some amazing (and amazingly real) characters, I have learned about entire worlds and ways of living that have never been part of my life experience. Some good, others just make me cry … but the point is that I am now more aware of opportunities to make a difference.
- Relationships. Platonic, romantic, familial you’ll find them in the pages of a great book. In the best stories, I go beyond being a “fly on the wall” to walking away from a book and thinking about how I want relationships in my life to be.
Which brings me to my last habit – being an advocate or activist. Reading has enriched my life so much that I am passionate about paying it forward and ensuring others have those opportunities.
Now it’s your turn!