Thursday, May 10, 2007

Time Well Spent With A Book

Quixotical wrote a wonderful post today about the lack of reading in the world today and I wanted to take the time to reflect on it.

Reading is something that I need in life. I need a fictional book to always be sitting next to my bed. Fiction offers an experience that nothing else can offer...imagination, release, escape. It's an experience that's in a league of it's own. You can get lost in a book. Any other entertainment medium may be entertaining, but the experience is forced upon you. A movie is experienced how the director decides it will be. TV is TV and tends to be ridiculous reality shows these days aside from the rare gems like Heroes *grin*. Music is a little different. People take music as a unique experience, but even that is not as customizable as a book.

The world seems to grow more and more fast paced and electronic every day. Everything is moving to more information all the time. I-Pods, Internet, TV, DVDs, CDs, Cell Phones, Laptops, etc, etc, etc,....everything is so instant, so busy, and everyone is so easily accessible. This also leads to schedule crowding. There's no time to do anything with all of these gadgets. Work, eat, play on the internet, and watch tv, and it's time to go to bed. I'm certainly not suggesting that I'm not guilty of obsessing over gadgets and the internet. I love both. But I like to still take the time to curl up with a book.

Books are an entertainment genre that have survived for countless years. They offer a unique experience to each reader. I'm thinking of all the varied reviews that have come in for Neil Gaiman's Stardust for the Once Upon A Time Challenge. Everyone takes something different from the same book. I think it's so important for everyone to set aside a specified amount of time each day to just sit or lay down and read. Even if it's only 10 minutes. Give your brain the exercise. Escape from the real world for a little while and enter the world of Faerie, or enter a crime scene, or enter a jungle in Africa, a winter in July, a world that you know nothing about. Find a way to fall into a story and let go of the day's worries. You'll find it works wonders.

As Quix said in her post, I'm shocked when I walk into someone's house and can't find any books. I just can't understand people not reading. I hear people say that they don't have the time, and I can understand that. But if you seriously don't have 10 minutes to put aside each day to read, then maybe there's something else that needs to be addressed. You're not being fair to yourself. Your body needs that time to relax and escape.

So I say with all this reading talk going on in blog land, we should make this "make people read month" :p What do you say? I'll get to work on my sister. Everyone should be able to spare 10 minutes. I'll have alot of time to spare now that I'm DONE SCHOOL AND MY INTERNSHIP!!!


DesLily said...

hey Chris.. I'm not sure it's a bad off as we think.. but it's definately been better!

fyi: I received the book today! wow! that's some book!
I'm back trying like "heck" to keep reading jonathan strange, but that's because I am waiting a delivery of other books.. I will get to this one asap! Thanks again for offering it up! (heavy book!!)

Chris said...

I know it's not that bad off. I just feel like there's too much stuff moving into book's territory :p

I'm so glad you got the book! It's quite heavy. Hope you enjoy it :)

Quixotic said...

What really bothers me most is seeing children that aren't being encouraged to read. Lately I have noticed this with a child (6 1/2 yrs old) in my partner's family. At his age I was reading with ease, and reading anything I could get my hands on. I was encouraged to read and books were easily available to me. This child either watches TV or just sort of...hangs around waiting for someone to entertain him. He can read, but he doesn't choose to pick up any of the many accessible children's books in his grandparents' house (I would have had a field day at that age), and he never seems to be encouraged to do so. We always buy books for him and the other children we buy gifts for at Christmas and birthdays, and will continue to do so. It just seems so sad. Of course, he has a TV in his bedroom, and a PS2 and Xbox.....Ahem.

On the other hand, my nephew loves to read, and always enjoys the books I give him. He's a fantasy fan already, having enjoyed the Tiffany Aching books, Eragon, Coraline and others. Hooray!

Chris said...

Quix, Yeah, books seem to be more and more uncool with kids these days. Though I must admit Harry Potter has turned many kids on to reading with this new wave of Young Adult lit. My little brother for example (he's 12) would rather do anything but read. He'd prefer to skateboard. He's still a good kid though ;). I just wish I could get him to enjoy a book. Whenever I can get him to read one I give him lots and lots of attention about it ;)

Bookfool said...

What a wonderful post. I'll have to go see Quixotic's original. You've hit on some of the reasons I love reading. I love that you get to use your own imagination instead of relying on someone else's to fill out the scenery and you can mentally cast the characters however you like.
And, oh my gosh, yes - doesn't a house without books look . . . I don't know . . . cold? We went to the home of one of my husband's associates, one time, and there were no books in sight. When the wife said she *hates* books, my husband was sure we wouldn't get along but we had a nice chat, anyway. Still, I couldn't help but think, "Oh, poor thing. You don't know what you're missing!" LOL

I've got to post about my little reading family, some time. We all read and I just love that.

My poppet came, today!!! She's so darned cute. I took photos of her; I'll have to post one, later, but I tried to make her look like she was blooming from the plants. Thanks so much for posting the link to the poppets!

Chris said...

Bookfool, I really can't understanding "hating" books. But I guess "to each his own." I suppose I should be more open minded to that as well. I guess reading isn't everyone's thing, but I just don't get how one could not enjoy it!

Your reading family sounds like a great one! Y'all seem like a very cool family :) And yay for your first poppet! Lisa loves to get pictures of her poppets. If you go to, there's a "poppets on tour" page where you can submit photos of your poppets in different areas of the country. Very fun.

Bookfool said...

Thanks, I'll look that up, Chris. I got silly with my poppets. :)

I wrote a lengthy post at Quixotic's site (got all babbly). If you have time, dash over there and see what you think, would ya?

Also, I forgot to say congrats. I think it's amazing how much you've balanced while working on a master's degree.

Chris said...

Thanks Bookfool! The master's is finally over. What a great feeling!

I can't see your post on Quix's site yet. She's gotta approve the comment. I love her site. One of my favorite blogs.

And getting silly with poppets is always fun :D I've been wanting to take pictures of my poppets eating beignets at cafe du monde in the french quarter or staring at the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, but I always forget to bring them whenever I go down to the quarter. One of these days...

Literacy-chic said...

Part of it is that kids are not encouraged to read, they're forced and bribed. So when the reward and the punishment are removed, what incentive is there?

And yes, I'd have to say, it is that bad. I teach English. I see first hand evidence of the fact that people just don't read. The writing suffers. The reading suffers. And the thinking suffers. It's awful.

I forgot to buy a poppet on eBay! :( I'm sad now. Oh well, maybe next time! I'm sure you'll keep me posted! ;)

Quixotic said...

Awww thanks Chris. :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog bookfool, and for the comment!

literacy-chic just reminded me of something that came up in the news here a few months ago: the number of students going to university here, without basic literacy and numeracy skills. One university had to employ writers to help teach English Literature students how to write essays. HOW do you get to the stage where you are doing an English Lit degree, when you have no grasp of the basics?

While I think the Harry Potter books (and other books like them) have been great in terms of getting children reading (and I enjoy them a great deal too), I do think that they are also part of the problem in terms of the whole franchise. It isn't just about the books and the love of reading, but about the toys, the branded gadgets and the films. All that is fine, I guess, but it does maybe detract from the benefits.

Chris said...

You're absolutely right N. Kids aren't encouraged to read anymore. Which is ashame. I remember reading a couple of college essays that some community college students wrote once and I was appalled by the writing, spelling, and grammar! Like you and Quixotic said..How do you even get into college based on an essay like that?

I'll definitely keep you posted :) She has sales throughout the year and she always offers the little red poppets for $9 which is a great deal.

Quix, I can see your point on all of the merchandising that goes along with Harry Potter, but at the same time, I know so many kids (now teens) who used to hate reading and now love it as a result of this series. But I agree. I think that the amount of franchising that goes on is ridiculous these days. They squeeze every penny they can out of everything.

Quixotic said...

I can't really knock it too much. I do love Harry Potter, and I know a lot of kids have gone on to other reading as a result, which is awesome. I think Harry Potter is how my nephew started getting into reading - he was a little young when the first book came out, but I gave him the audiobook and he loved it.

What makes me sad is the kid I mentioned before, who at 6 1/2 yrs might not be actually reading Harry Potter (although at that age, I would have been, had the books existed...), but could be listening to the audiobooks as my nephew did. No. He's seen all the films so far though. *sigh*

Bookfool said...


Just posted a poppet pic at my blog - I think you'll like it. I'll post more, later, but I've got to get back to the chores, replace my camera battery, blah, blah. :)

Chris said...

Ooh yay! Heading over there in a sec :D