Someone recently asked me why I enjoyed reading and writing so much. We were having a conversation about books. I was passing on a few I had finished reading. They couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about and I couldn’t understand how they did not read. They shook their head and laughed as if reading were a waste of time.
I’ve told my grandchildren that there’s nothing cooler than reading a book, because “you become the director of the movie that starts playing in your head.” Most people will envision characters and places differently. And if they do make a movie based on a book they’ve read, it makes it more interesting, because they will get to see if there are any similarities to what they envisioned.
It’s also about the storytelling—the writing style, the plot, the characters—all of the facets that bring the story to life. I was a reader from a very young age. I can remember always having books in my room. I would sit quietly in a corner by myself and read. I didn’t have to go outside and play all the time; I was just as happy reading a book as I was doing other things.
We enjoy stories each time we listen to a song or a piece of music; read a book, watch a play or a movie—even art and photography convey stories. I didn’t realize until now that most of my interests from childhood—books, writing, acting, performing, singing, fashion and art—are all different arenas for storytelling.
I continued to talk about the importance of reading. I tried to explain the many things we can learn even from reading fiction. But they had no interest. I got the impression it wasn’t considered cool to them. Since we all have our own definition of cool, I wasn’t insulted.
Just today a childhood friend and I were discussing the treasures her deceased parents had left behind and how she didn’t know what to do with them. She and her sisters are going to keep a few things, but there is so much that they will need to sell or donate them. The treasures left behind—books and records!