I’m hungry. Not in a literal sense…actually, I just finished eating my dinner before writing this. No, I’m hungry for information, knowledge and the magic of a powerful thought and a well-crafted sentence. I’m hungry for fiction so engaging that I forget to eat, drink or go to the bathroom. This doesn’t happen to me often, but when it does, it’s nirvana.
Books are my head candy and, like a Kit-Kat, I cannot get enough. You see, I’m on a mission…a mission to be intellectually buff. I love books and currently have more books and magazines than I have time to read them. But that’s okay, I’m always comforted knowing that I have at least one magazine and one book on-deck.
The other day I was at a fast food restaurant ordering food. Since I happened to be dining alone on that occasion, I had a book in my hand ready to eat and read. After placing my order, the young man behind the counter saw my book and made a confession to me: “Besides my textbooks in school, I’ve only read two books in my life.”
Huh? Only two books?
I wanted to yell out to him, “are you crazy, you’ve only read two books for pleasure!?” But I tried to approach the conversation without judgment. I also tried to engage in a conversation with him since I was the only person in line.
“Have you ever read Stephen King?” I asked, thinking that he fit the demographic of a guy who would enjoy a good Stephen King horror novel.
It turns out he did read one Stephen King story…one of his short stories that was made into a movie. One of the newer ones that I’ve neither seen nor read. I flashed back to my teen years when I was mesmerized by reading King’s stories especially Misery, The Stand, The Talisman, Salem’s Lot and the novellas in The Bachman Books. These books fueled my imagination and gave me endless hours of entertainment.
I don’t tell you this story to feel superior or to look down on this restaurant employee. I tell you this story as a reminder to not take books for granted.
I still remember sitting in my high school history class when our teacher, Mr. O’Malley, reminded us that countries used to withhold books and information in order to control and oppress and its citizens. We still see this today in many parts of the world, especially third-world countries and the middle east where literacy rates hover at less than 50 percent.
I’m not a parent, but when my friends who are parents tell me that they read to their kids every night, it’s magic to my ears. When I go to the library and I see a mom with her kids checking out a big stack of books, I smile. I am so thankful that my parents encouraged me to read when I was a kid.
A few months ago, my friend Lori at Jane Be Nimble, had a post that detailed some of the books by her nightstand. I can identify. Some of the books by my nightstand currently include:
- Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. I’ve read a couple of the ladies detective agency books and have enjoyed them, but have never read an Alex Cross mystery. I realize this series is probably not going to challenge me like classic literature would, but the point here is pure entertainment.
- Back In Control: How to Stay Sane, Productive and Inspired in Your Career Transition by Diane Grimard Wilson. At the end of last year, Ms. Wilson gave a talk that I attended and gave this book away. I found her talk to be fascinating…it gave us a psychological approach to career transition and the job hunt.Â She also gave us a squeezable stress ball shaped like a brain. Cool!
- The Law of Attraction: The Basic Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I’m pretty intrigued by the whole law of attraction thing. I can fully understand why many people are skeptical, however being the curious person that I am, I wanted to get Esther and Jerry Hicks’ perspective. I’m still early into this book and don’t really know what to make of it yet.
- The Zen of Organizing (library book) by Regina Leeds. What can I say? I need to clear out some clutter in my life (not my books) and the beginning of the year is a good time to read this. I think it’s out of print, but you might find it in your local library like I did. It is in print and available on Amazon.com – which is good to know because I really need to get busy on my organizing. I enjoy how she combines the principles of zen with clearing clutter.
- Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath. I’ve found this book to be simply amazing. If you’re into ideas or telling stories, you need to read this book. I recommend this book to bloggers, since I think we are about providing memorable, sticky content for our readers.
- Sporting News: 2010 Fantasy Baseball Magazine. Spring training starts in a month…are you ready for the season?
In my book (pun intended), reading is one of the most important things we can do to enrich both ourselves and our kids. And we need to read what’s going on with our government…after all, we elected them to represent us.
How about you…are you reading anything good?
Flickr Creative Commons photo courtesy of vieux bandit