Where do you like to read? Do you take books or a Kindle with you wherever you go?
My parents taught me the love of reading. It gives me something to do beyond sitting on my phone scrolling social media or news. And it feels more profitable at the end of the day.
Social Media vs. Books
Scrolling TikTok or Instagram is a very real temptation for me. Sometimes, l roll over in the morning, pick up my phone, and go to social media before anything else.
Social media is a great way to connect, find new books, laugh, learn, and so much more. However, there is also a lot of garbage, and it can be easy to become lost.
Everyone knows this.
It is why I am constantly trying to refocus my life and keep reading.
Learning from Books
Books teach so much. They take you to so many places.
Nonfiction allows us to find some great specific researched topics that are written to help you learn about a niche topic that the author has truly loved.
Can you find something like this on YouTube? Yes, but finding it in book form to me just adds such depth to it.
Losing myself in words creates amazing places in my mind from fantasy or sci-fi. I can really develop the world on my own without pictures or added material. It allows me to exercise my mind.
Best of all, authors leave spaces for my own add-ins to the story creating a mental joy that I can’t find on social media.
The Places I Read
Taking books everywhere is almost an art. Having a book with me at all times. Having a book downloaded on my phone for times when I forgot my book still allows me to read rather than be bored.
Distracting myself with a book in a waiting room, before a test, and while riding in the car benefits my mind and sometimes helps me meet interesting people.
Occasionally, people ask what I am reading and start a book conversation. I love it when this happens.
Reading fills time while I wait for the rice to cook or the pasta to finish and I feel good about it afterward because I used my time wisely. Often, with social media, I feel dry or bad about spending time there.
I adore reading books on plane rides. Often, I finish a book from the start of the trip to the end by reading at the airport and on the plane. I struggle watching movies or tv on the plane because of the sound, so reading is my escape to zone out from the noise and real world.
The Issues of Reading Everywhere
Sometimes, reading does get in the way.
When the nurse calls me for a doctor’s appointment and I just want to finish that last paragraph. Occasionally, the meat gets overcooked, but sometimes I just need to know what the character is going to do next.
This isn’t the worse thing that could happen.
Reading to Write
I become a better writer because I read so much.
The more I read the more my spelling improves.
The more I read, the more I think about the books I am reading. Analyzing themes and characters that can teach me so much.
Noting the plot can lead to ideas of how the plot could be different. The dialogue could be shifted to sound more realistic. I notice tropes. I notice descriptions. I notice plot recurrences.
And as a writer, all of this is so important.
To write, I believe like so many others who write or have written, you must read.
Reading grows your understanding of what good and bad writing is. It blossoms a love of certain aspects of writing.
It can discourage me as I doubt I will ever write a book as good as The Martian. However, after reading several other sci-fi books that were not that great, I think to myself, I am writing something better than this.
What about Your Reading Life?
Why do you read?
Where is the weirdest place you have read? I would love to know if you take a book everywhere. I know that I have read at museums, orchestras, and family reunions, so where do you use reading to escape?