Thursday, August 16, 2012

Virtual Round-trip Tickets to Anywhere (Goal #1)

So in March I announced that I was going to focus on 10 goals for 2012 and I reiterated that it didn’t matter what time of the year we started this process.  Good thing!  It’s now August and I’m just getting around to starting this party! (Time flies when you’re having fun.)  So let’s get to it.
Those who know me are familiar with my love of reading.  Granted, I have much less time for reading these days with Sunny Belle drinking up most of my spare time, but nothing soothes my soul more than opening a book and diving into the great unknown.  Regardless of whether it's a novel, a self-help book (I have my share of those, Sista’), a documentary or a how-to book, I am addicted to the written word and what it has to offer. 
There are two truths about books that I hold dear to my heart, which are summed up in two relevant quotes:
“Never judge a book by its movie.” (J.W. Eagan)  Can I get an “Amen”?  I mean, look at the Twilight series… Fabulous books; Amateur B-movies. And nothing rattles my cage more than a movie that audaciously uses a different ending than provided by the book or completely changes events or circumstances for the silver screen.

“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.”  (Mary Schmich)  Truer words have never been spoken.  Okay, except for "chocoholism is a real disease". Anyway...

For the last few years, I have been trying to stress to my young children that the adventures upon which you can embark are limitless if you simply surrender yourself to a book.  Isn’t it amazing to think about the places you can visit, the roles you assume, the personas you embody, simply by reading words on a page? You can explore countries you never thought you’d have a chance to visit and by submerging yourself within the pages that describe the culture, the geography and the communities involved, you feel as though you’ve actually been there!  Come on – who can say they’ve read Eat, Pray, Love and didn’t feel like they personally visited Italy, Indonesia and India?  I was so revived after that book and it was largely due to the virtual three-month vacay I had just completed!

Reading a book has more benefits than many of us realize.  Evidence is all around us from studies and research that prove reading improves your memory, increases your writing, vocabulary and grammar skills, reduces stress, etc.  How can you go wrong?  And best of all, even with all the e-reader technology today, public libraries are still in existence, which ensures free access to thousands, if not millions of books waiting to be read.   
So what am I currently reading, you ask? 
(Or maybe you didn't.)
First, I am knee-deep in a long-time bestseller, the Holy Bible.  Love it, love it, love it.  I told myself LAST year that I would read it within a year.  (Yeah, I missed that by a year and now I am shooting for the end of THIS year.)  Oh, the stories this beautiful literary masterpiece has to tell!  No Christian should finish this life without having read the Good Book.  Having said that, it can prove to be a pretty overwhelming task.  So here are a couple of websites that can assist you in breaking it down.  The Olive Tree has very user-friendly reading plans.  YouVersion and Bible Gateway deserve kudos as well.  Prefer to "read" in your car?  Check out the Spoken Word app on your iPhone or iPod.  It's awesome but his voice is rather monotone, so if you're listening while driving, be sure to do so with 8 hours of sleep under your belt and a cup of coffee.  Just sayin'.
I am also engaged in the Fifty Shades trilogy, which is ironic and comical to some, considering I am reading it simultaneously with the Bible.  But it's sooo enthralling that I can't help myself!  Mea culpa.
Looking for a way to organize your books?  Here are some great websites that enable you to list and organize the titles of everything you've read as well as swap recommendations with others who share your tastes.  Check out Goodreads, Library Thing and Bookcrossing.  I personally prefer Goodreads.
Speaking of sharing recommendations, what about starting a book club?  I have always wanted to do that!  What can be more entertaining than getting a group of friends together to discuss the latest book over refreshments? Check out Book Clubs Resource on ideas for creating a book club. There are no rules; only suggestions. You do what's best for your group.  A book club... I am thinking this could be a viable 2013 resolution... 
In summary, reading can empower you with knowledge and take you places you’ve never been before.  So whaddya say?  Ready for your virtual round-trip ticket to anywhere?  Then pick up (or download) a book today and get on board!  Oh and if anyone would like to recommend something to read, I encourage you to put it in comments so that we can all share in the adventure!  Thanks.  Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. I also found your choice of simultaneous reading comical. LOL! You go ahead, girl! Let's start a book/drinking copious amounts of wine club. I'm pretty sure we'll just end up watching "Love Actually" over and over, but I'm okay with that too.


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