Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 151 of Your Year to Wellness; The Need to Read

Firing The Brain
Nothing fires the brain like reading. Reading requires the use of several parts of the brain, so when you read more than a tweet or text message, you are strengthening the highways between these parts enabling them to communicate more readily.
Yesterday, I read some staggering statistics about Americans and reading. Only 33% of people who have graduated from high school read a book after high school and only 42% of the folks who graduate from college ever read another book.
 When I was in school, then college, then graduate school, there was one thing that kept driving me to completion and that was the fact that when I was done with school, I would be able to read all of the time and I could read whatever I wanted.
But last year 80% of families in the U.S did not buy or read a book. And of those books that were purchased, only 43% were read to completion.
I don’t know about you, but this worries me. It’s no wonder that we rank last in innovation against other countries. Innovation requires that we think and process creatively; the ability to do so is made possible by reading.
We have become more concerned with having a bikini body by summer than we are with reading a  book by then. Intelligence is incredibly attractive.
I love to listen to books while I exercise, but I truly enjoy sitting down and reading them even more. Reading requires that we still our mind and focus and focus and focus.
I know people who own more shoes than they do books. There is something terribly wrong here. If we want to be better and think more clearly, we have to read entire books to their completion.
One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten came from someone who had not read a book after high school. The woman told me that her friend gave her one of my novels and insisted that she read it. The woman did and then she read everything else I wrote and then she kept right on reading. She wrote to me and said “Thank you for helping me wake up to myself.”
We must read more, not to compete with the world, but to compete with our own self; to develop it and evolve into the person we need to be.
I often tell people that reading is like peeing; you have to do both to live. Sometimes at night, it’s hard to get up to go, but when you do, it is the best thing in the whole wide world. Reading is like that; it feels impossible at first, but the more you do it, the more you will want to.
Get a book about something you already enjoy and read it, then read some more.

Be you, be well, be a reader
Bertice Berry, PhD.

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