“Read every night before you go to sleep.”
This simple “suggestion”, as my mother put it, was really more like a command. Ever since I learned how to read my first book, my mother insisted that my sister and I read before we went to sleep at night, read instead of watching tv, or read to forget our troubles. Her solutions always seemed simple on the surface: Want to feel better? Eat some vegetables. Want more energy? Go for a run. Bored? Read. My mother was and still is slightly obsessed with the notion that a large glass of water and a good book could console virtually any ailment. If only it hadn’t taken me until 22 years of age to realize that she was right.
If you don’t believe me when I say that I grew up around the idea that reading is sacred then consider these facts: my house has a library with the books arranged by the Dewy Decimal System. My mother started a book club 20 years ago and it is still going strong. My father has written over 4 novels. Oh, and my mother is a librarian. So with the summation of all these facts it might surprise you that I swore off the idea of reading for pleasure long ago. With the start of college came “assigned reading” and being forced to read was a concept I could not handle. Therefore, the reading stopped. If I wasn’t going to do the assigned reading, I surely wasn’t going to read for pleasure. I ran out of time. I ran out of interest. I ran out of books (Soon, I ran out of excuses). However somewhere deep inside of me was a gnawing at my soul to get back to that familiar rhythm of curling up to a good book before bed. Whenever I went home for break I would somehow end up at the local library, just sitting for hours reading titles and summaries. I would take out books and let them sit on my shelf until I had racked up enough library fines to pay for a down payment on a small house. Something always drew me back to the idea of reading but for some reason I just couldn’t do it. The idea of actually finishing an entire novel seemed impossible.
With this idea of impossibility lies the main problem. Reading should not be a daunting task! If you do not enjoy what you are reading then stop and find something else. You should not read for speed or because you are being forced. Reading for pleasure should be just that: reading for pleasure! Find a magazine, newspaper column, or blog that rocks your boat and start reading from there. It really can take your mind off of the day’s woes and take your eyes off of a screen. Recently, I have come back to the world of reading and I have found that nothing has changed. Each page turn is still exciting, every paragraph leaves me thinking, and the closing of each binding always teaches me something new. I now make sure to read every night before I go to sleep and that is what I am “suggesting” for you.
My top ten recommended Books:
- The Kite Runner
- Into Thin Air
- Heads in Beds
- The Other Boleyn Girl
- Snow Falling on Cedars
- The Glass Castle
- The Secret Life of Bees
- The Catcher in the Rye
Let me know what your favorite books are in the comment below!