Opening Minds: Reading

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki MurakamiNorwegian Wood

I take great pleasure in reading. It is my escape. In fact, my perfect day would involve a nice cup of tea, a good book, and relaxing under a tree with a companion who can play the guitar or sing. I have always been a bit of a bibliophile. I am a bit of a collector. Last week in anticipation of this blog post I counted 257 physical books within reach and about 400 books total in my collection (This excludes comic books & graphic novels). I read several books a year and since I work at a library it helps keep my reading habit under control.

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
― William StyronConversations with William Styron

Both my mother and father are avid readers. My mom is more partial to fiction/romance while my father loves a good nonfiction computer book. I am somewhere in between. My favorite genre is science fiction. After that comes mystery, non-fiction focused on race relations, regular fiction, poetry, and finally non-fiction focused on spirituality.  My personal library reflects my varying interests and I’m quite proud of it. I have been collecting books since I was a young child and I cherish a good novel. My definition of a good novel is one that can make me laugh, cry, smile, or become angry. There are few authors that can write to that standard. When my favorite Sci-Fi author, L.A. Banks, passed away I cried like I knew her. I was depressed for a week. She was such a brilliant author.

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
― Oscar Wilde

Books have always been very important. When a conqueror takes over a nation often times the first thing they do is destroy the books and the art.  This is because they are very powerful. They help spark free thinking. They show where we have come, as well as where we are heading.

By wiping out those two things, you wipe out a whole culture. If you want to control a group of people you make them illiterate. You make them rely on you for any information they receive. Then you can spin it to your favor. This is why I am so big on people reading and educating themselves beyond traditional institutions. College is a wonderful thing and give you access to a lot of information that you wouldn’t have on your own, but you have to do your own research as well.

“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”
― Christopher MorleyPipefuls

The more you know the less people can lead you astray. Religion is such a touchy topic with me. I don’t follow any one in particular but this is because I’ve spent several years learning about a lot of religions. I believe that if other people did the same, everyone would realize that we are all not so different.  By learning more about the world it can help open your eyes and some of the ignorance and hatred in the world can be dispelled.

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”
― Fran LebowitzThe Fran Lebowitz Reader

Until we meet again,

-M.A.

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2 responses to “Opening Minds: Reading

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