When was the last time you curled up with a good book? Studies have shown that reading improves learning, stimulates creativity, and can even reduce stress. I kind of think we all need that in our lives.
Some people claim reading’s gone to the wayside. In our high-tech world of video, gifs, and snaps, who needs a book when a picture can tell its own story? I get that. I like pictures and Snapchat is one of my favorite apps, but it’s really not the same as far as mental stimulation goes. It’s too short. It’s just a glimpse, not the whole story.
Plus, it’s not fiction – although a lot of what you might see on social media sort of seems like fiction—no one’s life is that perfect. I think there’s an element of sadness to the videos and blurbs and stories people post. It’s hard to know the truth anymore, even when we see it in 55 seconds or less.
With a good story, though, you know you’re entering a made-up place – somewhere you can go and not get hurt. A place that doesn’t leave you comparing or feeling bad about yourself. It’s somewhere you visit for a little while, enjoy, and then walk away from, taking a piece of it with you. It’s a way to enter an experience and learn without going through all the trauma.
Stories entertain and sweep you away.
They remind you of what you have and what you want.
And really good stories leave you a little wiser than you were when you read the first page.
And it’s different for everyone. I may get something from one book that totally doesn’t jump out at you when you read it. We each come at the stories with our own life experiences and knowledge, and that makes it unique to each of us.
I have some books I read over and over, and then there are some I’m scared to pick up again because of where they took me. It’s an adventure, really, not an escape, and I’m better for listening and learning as I journeyed through those chapters.
I would tell you some of my favorite stories, but they probably wouldn’t be yours. Some of them I read at a certain time in my life when I really needed to see someone struggle and overcome. Others gave me a better understanding of love, and one, in particular, took me to such a despair, I had to write the person who recommended it and give him a piece of my mind, but now I appreciate it. I appreciate having seen into those dark places and found my footing.
Have you read a good story lately? Will you share it with us? Write the title in the comments. Who knows maybe it will make a difference in someone else’s life.