Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
For more information about Top Ten Tuesday and a list of upcoming Top Ten Tuesday topics, click here.
This Week’s Topic:
Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Reader
- Go Anywhere- Whether it be a country, time period, or a fantasy world, books allow you to travel anywhere. Some of my favorite places I’ve traveled are: Hogwarts, a battle school in space, Prague, and a giant whale airship during WWI.
- Be Anything- At this point in my life, I know for the most part which careers I won’t ever pursue. Writing is kind of my thing. Working with teens is my thing. Perhaps someday I’d like to make editing my thing. But there are a thousand other occupations I can experience through the pages of a book: pilot, mad scientist, princess, detective, archeologist, astronaut, revolutionary… The list goes on.
- Using My Imagination- Who doesn’t want to be a kid again? One part of what is so special about being a kid is not knowing life’s limitations. Every door is wide open. And part of that comes with the young’s unique imagination. When I read, part of that essence of being a kid comes back to me. When reading, I can suspend my disbelief and allow my imagination to open up possibilities that as an adult, I know now aren’t really possible. Reading is still a place where anything is possible, with the help of a little imagination.
- Libraries are Free- As a reader, my entertainment can be 100% free–thanks to libraries! I recently read this little anecdote in a speech by Lois Lowry (Arbuthnot Speech, 2011):
Annika said something in German to my granddaughter, who translated for her. “She wants to know how much it costs to use the library.”
I told them it was free.
“Do other towns have free libraries?” they asked.
By now we were in the car. I sat there for a minute, thinking about the geography of the area, then said, “I’m going to show you something.”
Lowry goes on to drive them by several public libraries all within a small radius of her home, and at the end of the tour, while eating ice cream, the visiting German girls proclaim that libraries are the best thing in the United States. Reading this story made me truly appreciative of the fact that I not only have a free library, but a stunningly beautiful one just two miles from my home. I have thousands of books at my fingertips, which would certainly be more than people in other parts of the world have access to.
- Reading Fiction is Good for the Brain- A recent study showed that reading fiction boosts brain activity, and not just while reading, but for up to five days after finishing a book. Scientists are calling it a type of muscle memory. I always feel more positive, clear-headed, and productive after finishing a good book, but I always just attributed it to being in a good mood. But this study would suggest that after finishing a work of fiction, your brain actually gets a power boost that goes on for days. Who’s going to be making more time for reading? This girl!
- Reading Makes You a More Empathetic Person- Another recent scientific study found that reading literary fiction improves a reader’s ability to understand what another person is thinking and feeling. Nonfiction, popular fiction, and genre fiction did not have the same results. But literary fiction showed a significant increase in empathy and understanding. Perhaps the expression, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes” should instead be “put yourself in someone else’s narrative.”
- Reading is Both Relaxing and Exciting- Reading is my form of relaxing in the evening. Curling up under a blanket with tea and a book is idyllic. But when I’m in the middle of a page-turner, I can tell you that my heart is literally racing. The duality of a book being both relaxing and inciting racing heart-palpitations is a uniquely wonderful experience.
- Books are Better than Movies- Isn’t this a universal fact? The book is always better than the movie.
- Never Ending Supply of Books- It is physically impossible to read every book ever written on this Earth. How glorious is it that you will never run out of new, fresh stories to read? While I sometimes feel daunted by my to-read pile, it is actually a wonderful thing to have so many great stories waiting for me to enjoy.
- Belief in the Power of Words- I believe that books have the power to change the world. Whether it’s through spreading knowledge, creating empathy, inspiring the future, or simply providing pleasure, I sincerely believe in the power of words.
Whew! What a Top Ten Tuesday! I think this may be one of my favorites because writing the post has left me feeling so many warm, fuzzy feelings about reading.
Three cheers for being a reader!
Any great parts of being a reader I missed? Please share!