“Speaking personally, you can have my gun, but you’ll take my book when you pry my cold, dead fingers off of the binding.” ~ Stephen King
Here are documented scientific reasons about the importance of reading, according to a seminar I once attended given by a neurologist who had been studying the brain for three decades (this is my layman’s understanding of what she said):
- Reading requires your brain to be active, the neurons firing, and actually makes you smarter.
- Reading causes dendrites (the part of the neuron where memories are stored) to form, improving your capacity for memory.
- Reading, because it requires focus, improves your concentration.
- Reading, when done for pleasure, reduces your stress & that is good for your overall health.
- Reading, because it makes you think and apply what you’ve read, actually improves your reasoning skills.
Here are things I believe about reading:
- Reading can teach you about your own self, you recognize yourself or who you’d like to be in the pages.
- Reading can allow you to see what’s important to you by the kind of books you tend to choose.
- Reading increases your own creativity, sometimes sparking other ideas in your life.
- Reading can make you feel not so alone, especially a memoir of someone who’s been through the same thing you have.
- Reading builds connections with other people, even if the only other person is that author.
READING CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
I have a soft spot for author Stephen King because he was the biggest influence in pushing me toward being a fiction writer. When I was a kid, my family & I went on vacation up to a cabin in Maine. There was no running water, no electricity ~ “roughing it like the settlers” my dad said. Not great, though, for a 12-year-old girl. Under one of the bunk beds, I found a box full of Stephen King books & I spent those 2 weeks reading his early work, which is absolutely fantastic. I wanted to be able to do what King did ~ make people feel scared, angry, happy, whatever ~ just by telling them a story. The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King) is among my favorite books ever. It’s one of the ones I read in that cabin years ago. It made me see the possibility of having a life as a fiction writer. It changed how I saw my future. It opened up possibilities for me. Reading can do the same for you.
What book changed your life? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.
“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” ~Stephen King
Most writers have long memories. Some of us may wish we didn’t. But the fact remains that if you cross us, hurt us, humiliate us, or do any multitude of things that make us feel less than, you can pretty much bet that you will, at some undetermined point in the future, show up in a story and not in a pleasant way.
You may not recognize yourself. You may be a character with a penis the size of my pinky finger. You may show up as a character in a mental institution. Or a character with hygiene issues, massive amounts of back hair, no social skills whatsoever. Or my personal favorite, a character who gets killed off in the most gruesome way possible. You get the gist, right?
We don’t need to admit this to you. In fact, in most cases, we probably won’t ever admit it. But we’ll know, and that’s what matters. We’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that we hold the power and that you, the people who shamed or disgraced or angered us, are helpless to do anything but let the scene play out on the page. We’ll also have the pleasure of knowing that our audience may chuckle and point fingers and be glad they aren’t you.
AND MY POINT IS . . .
Here’s a little warning from me to you: You should be careful, you should think twice, before being mean to anyone . . . but especially to a writer.
Are you afraid of writers? Please feel free to share your thoughts & experiences in the comment box below.
Grand Prize Winner, Grant Winner, & Silver Medal Winner