“Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so we may feel again their majesty and power?” Annie Dillard
With the explosion of social media and technology, we are reading all the time. And that is a good thing! Attached to our screens we are processing and interacting like never before. We love the little “ping” our brains get when we have new information, either in a tweet, an email, or with a piece of breaking news.
But what about the type of reading that has more depth, something sustained, something more than a snatch or a byte… something that we can become absorbed in, lost in. Our brains need that kind of deep engaging as well.
I know… I am probably preaching to the choir but I think we readers need to remind ourselves that what we are doing is really very, very good. It doesn’t matter if we prefer the printed page or a Kindle screen. It doesn’t matter if it’s a novel, a work of non-fiction, an essay, a short story, or a magazine article.
Uninterrupted sustained reading may seem like a gift if we can manage it, but actually it is vital to our health. Reading stimulates the brain, reduces stress, expands vocabulary, improves writing skills, sharpens memory, and causes stronger analytical thinking.
What is libraricating? Getting something from the library (or bookstore) that will lubricate your brain! 🙂