Tuesday, February 7, 2012

why read?

A few days ago, I told my husband that sometimes, when I am in social situations I expect to engage in deep conversation but what I often get is superficial.

Topics of conversation are, generally, variations of the same subjects: type of cell phone, latest vacation and future vacation plans, hair and nail color trends, the newest collections, hotel recommendations, a comment about the latest criminal case, one or two anecdotes (if lucky), questions about how we raise or how we should educate our children, what works and what doesn't (really boring, cause you know, aside from giving them love and attention, each couple has it´s own ways that are determined by their own singularity, so "winner" formulas don´t really apply here), and a forecast of the way inflation is going to affect our economies in the upcoming future.

No matter what situation I find myself in, whether it's a meeting with friends or on my own, I´m always hoping to produce or encounter some form of knowledge, but, when I relate to some people I am left with the feeling that it simply will not happen. So, I asked my husband if maybe I should settle for superficial conversations.
The truth be said, I find that hard to achieve.

Even though I understand that these are times where focus is divided between the profound and superfluous (which I think works great towards a form of balance) I do wonder: when something calls our attention, I mean really calls our attention, isn't this a good reason to stop and focus for a moment on what interests us? Isn't that worth it? Isn't learning worth it? I am left with the feeling that this lack of interest (which applies to a lack of interest in books also) can lead people to loose their capacity to ask questions, be surprised and to engage at a deeper level with others.

I like to read. I think there are so many good reasons to read. This is what I wanted to share with you today. I like to read books, magazines, I read anything that calls my attention and which I feel I can learn from.

Reading, I educate myself. I discover subjects that interest me and I set myself to get a more profound understanding of them. I find which are the characters´ adventures and conflicts an author so kindly shares with me and the way they learn from each experience. I sometimes apply the characters´ findings to my own life or, at least, I test them.

Sometimes, reading helps me discover who I am, it also helps me to find meaning in what seems not to have it or not to feel alone when dealing with certain feelings or topics.

I may be slow in understanding it is best to switch from the Google search engine to Google Chrome (or so my 10 yr. old daughter says). That is my pace.

Reading reminds me that one´s personal growth takes time because true knowledge isn't superficial, it is the result of a deep learning process that takes place at one´s own pace.

People that don´t read miss the chance of finding out what is particular about themselves and others and are at risk of becoming dull talking about their latest cell phone. Or talking about other people.

Reading is worth it, don't you think?

"Don't sleep with people who don´t read!" - John Waters

Post by Valeria Mendez Cañás

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