Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why We Read

Life is busy.  It doesn't matter who you talk to, or how much they try to live simply, if people are honest when you ask "How are you doing?" They will say something along the lines of crazy, hectic or busy at best.   If you are single and live alone, you still have work projects, grocery shopping cleaning, budgeting, etc.  If, like me, you are a mom of school age kids you can add to all that, getting the kids ready for school, helping with homework, volunteering at the school, and THEN if the kids are in a sport or after school activity the list just gets insane. 

So what does this have to do with reading?  

Reading is an escape.  I'm sure you've heard that before, but why?  Is it just because you are transported to another world for a while?  Is it because you get to forget your problems and focus on someone else's for a while?  I think the answer to either of those is yes, but I think they are only partial answers.  I think the real answer goes a little deeper.  See, especially as a woman, there are always at least 5 thoughts rumbling around in our head vying for our attention at any given time.  This is exhausting!  But when you look back at everything we are trying to fit into 24 hours it’s no wonder! 

Because of all that we look for escape.  Some find it in TV or movies, but for me those still leave too much room for multiple thoughts (what’s that car doing in the background, does it have to do with the plot? … why did he just give her that look, is it important?) but in a book you can only read one thought at a time.  Think about it ONE. THOUGHT. AT. A. TIME.  No matter how insanely complex the plot, at best you can read one thought at a time.  I know a lot of people read one word at a time, but let’s say you’re a speed reader… it’s still only one thought at a time.  Either way this is insanely relaxing to the mind.  Instead of trying to think about EVERYTHING on your to-do list at once you can concentrate on the one sentence in front of you.

Yes, you are escaping to another world, and yes you can focus on someone else’s problems but this tiny rest from the hectic pace of our world is, in my humble opinion, one of the things we crave most.  I hope that your reading spurs many quiet ponderings when you look away from the page but even those thoughts are better than to-do lists.

What are your thoughts?  Do you feel that same rest that I do when I pick up a good book?  What do you think of the quote?  Does reading help you in that area?

1 comment:

  1. I never thought of it that way before. Thanks! Yes, one thought at a time is comforting. A good book silences the noise all around. Books also beckon us busy moms to sit down for a little while!