When was the last time you read a good book?
It always disturbs me when acquaintances, new or old, tell me that they don’t like to read. I can’t imagine a whole day going by without reading a newspaper, a good book, a magazine, or all of the above. How could anyone not like to read?
People used to read all the time, but somewhere between fairy tales and Moby Dick it stopped being fun. What do you suppose happened?
A common excuse is that they don’t have time or that there are too many distractions. This is true of course, but would you make time if you thought you were doing your brain a favor?
True bibliophiles lament the loss of reading time; in an attempt to remedy the situation many have embraced a new concept called a Slow Reading Movement; the focus ison making time to read. Fellow readers meet, order a drink, turn off electronic devices, and settle down to read for at least one uninterrupted hour. They aren’t cramming or skimming or rushing to finish; instead they are trying to read purposefully, the way reading was meant to be. “Slow readers” embrace the idea that reading is the best way to improve one’s ability to concentrate, reduce stress, and recapture the fine art of thinking.
Reading a new book qualifies as one of many activities said to improve brain fitness, so why aren’t senior’s jumping on the band wagon? Older people fear losing the ability to think more than anything else; what could be worse than not being able to think or to read?
So what are you supposed to do? Well duh, “use it or lose it.” Did you know that you can exercise your mind just by learning new things? You don’t have to read the classics, unless you have been saving them for just such an occasion, but read something that will give your brain a boost.
Forget speed reading and deadlines for awhile; put away the cell phone, turn off the television, and practice concentrating on the printed page. Speed reading had its purpose, but there is no hurry now. The slow reader movement is not just another book club; there are no assignments and no trick questions. Just find a book, any book, and find a quiet place to read.
You don’t know what to start or what to read? Ask a friend; ask a librarian. Tell them you are looking for something to fire up your imagination; something that will make you fall in love with reading again.