Thursday, December 07, 2006

THE POWER OF THE BOOK IS MIGHTY

I love to read. Now, I prefer to read certain things more than others but I'll read anything. I always have a book and a magazine or two with me everywhere I go. Should I get stuck, say in the doctor's office with all those baby magazines and nothing else to read, you better believe I'll pick one of those puppies up. Or God forbid, at the local Tires Plus waiting for my car to be tuned up, I will, with no other choice, pick up the Car and Tire magazine and read that ish! LOL. You can never read too much.

One of the reasons I loved school so much was because I was exposed to so many different authors, and to new genres. I was never a big fan of any kind of non-fiction until I took some political science and history courses in my college years and saw the true merit of books like "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen, "Malcolm and Martin" by James Cone and a People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. Other writers I now pay attention to include; Thomas Friedman, Cornell West and Henry Louis Gates Jr. I remember reading the Color Purple and I know Why The Caged Bird Sings as an adult and really getting it. And reading Animal Farm and Charlotte's Web as an adult and finally understanding that they weren't just fictional stories I had enjoyed in my childhood but that they had significant messages and historical undertones. There are so many books I read as a child beause I was so curious and hungry that I enjoyed but never truly understood until I read them again later in my life. These include the classics by Dickens, Jane Eyre and the Bronte Sisters. Their books were not just stories, they were a commentary on life in those times. They were fun history lessons.

I am so grateful to my parents for encouraging me to read so much as a child. My mom especially, was always reading something and I always liked to copy my mom so when she'd sit down after work reading her newspaper, I wanted to be reading too. It got so bad at one point that when we visited people's homes, I would bury myself in a corner and read instead of playing with other kids. Thankfully, I grew out of that. Eventually, the Enid Blyton, Sweet Valley and Nancy Drew books weren't doing it for me at age 8 anymore so I probably read a lot of things I shouldn't have at an early age. I was just hungry for more. Never mind that reading voraciously is an asset in life. Anyone who can read very well will have less of a hard time with academics and beyond. We all know that's a fact. But reading for me is an escape. I don't always need to take an exotic vacation somewhere to relieve stress. Just give me a damn good book. When I need to destress and not think, I'll pick up a trashy novel. When I need to think and learn, I'll pick up something more inclined to help me do that. Reading is also a saviour of sorts. When I think about how much I've gotten away with sounding intelligent in discussions with intellectuals just because I've read up on something, I chuckle. I've heard my girl Oprah talk about how reading books helped her temporarily escape from the nightmare that was her life. Reading saved her in many ways hence her bookclub which has jumpstarted the career of many, and opened my mind to more knowledge - thanks Oprah girl!

Even the trashy novels I read frequently teach me something, be it about the place it is set in that I never knew about, or the use of some big word I didn't previously know. The Power of The Book is mighty for many reasons but mostly because it gives us knowledge, and we all know what they say about knowledge being power. Needless to say, my kids will love to read......they'll have no other choice, LOL.

I am supposed to be updating LondonBuki's bookclub blog with all my reads but I haven't done that lately. I'll have to get to that soon. I am currently reading "48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene. It's coming along slowly but surely. I am also reading Suze Orman's "Young, Fabulous and Broke" for the 50th time. LOL. That should tell you something, huh? What are you guys reading?

Now, to quote a great author whom I didn't discover sadly until my late teens;

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss

Have a great weekend guys!!!!!!!!!!

14 comments:

mosaic said...

I'm so feeling you on the reading. I absolutely love to read, though I haven't been doing much of it lately.

What's "48 Laws of Power" about?

The last book that I read/reread was "Releasing the Pain, Embracing the Joy" by Michelle Hammond McKinney. It was awesome for what I needed at the time.

"The Poisonwood Bible" is also pretty good once you get into it. It's a slow read though.

And LOL @ you and Dr. Suess in your teens. I used to love Dr. Suess, especially Green Eggs & Ham and The Cat in the Hat.

Nice post!

bhookey84 said...

i love readin too mehn, at first it was the enid blytons and sweet valley uni etc then danielle steel, then sophie kinsella and den some african american authors, omar tyree them, but now i picked up some sydney sheldon and i must say i dont know why i neva read his stuff o , read doomsday conspiracy yesterday and was like ohmy , i like chiamanda too, read some of her short books online too

JJ said...

I couldn't have said it better...that is the story of my life. I gave up on tryng to explain my obsession with books to people, esp. when i tell them i've not gone without reading a book everynight for going on 3years now. Lol @ you sounding intelligent in discussions..i feel you. Happens to me too.

Toast to reading and gaining more knowledge!

zaiprincesa said...

reading is fundamental and one of my favorite pastimes....i get sooo lost in books..lol..even sneakin off to read to clear my mind at work. Knowledge is never ending oh....

Funmi said...

Reading is definately my fave past time from back in the day with malory towers (used to wish i was in a boarding house like their's) to famous five, to nancy drew. There is definately alot to gain from reading......

Presently reading The LadyKiller by Martina Cole.

Wale said...

i loved reading. then i stopped. then i slowed down. there's something about me always moving, or wanting to move. that's why i thank god for the brilliant idea of audio books. i'm getting on that starting this xmas.

reading really is fundemental.

Bella Naija said...

I luv reading too!
Unforts, the only things I read these days are chicklit novels...i know they lack substance but with all the work books etc..tht is all i can handle..

anyway, have a great weekend!

Soul said...

ahhh..
I've travelled the world from the comfort of my sitting room.
I've broken bread with some of the greatest minds via reading.
I was Sojourner truth ferrying slaves along hte underground railroad..
I was there. right bloody there during the slave trade.
I was a junkie with Billie Holliday.. right there with her.

Reading saved me and it was also my cocoon.
And now, it still is. I love reading. Anything, I can't stop reading.

Icy said...

See all these nerds.. awo efiko lol bookers.. lol. I'm with you.. Book junkie here mostly fictional.. Now magazine/newsletters junkie I am a hopeful romantic lol I love romance novels and I also take deep pleasure in thrillers. Last book I read was Windmill of the Gods. Currently I'm reading Sweet Temptation from the Arabaseque collection. I always.. Always have a book in by bag when I'm travelling. I agree with you...the eloquency of ones thoughts and word conjuctions can tell a lot about the reading lifestyle of any individual. READING RAWKS... I remeber my first visit to the Library withoug my mother. I was 6 years old it was heaven for me.

In my head and around me said...

I read when I am in the loo
I read while I brush my teeth
I read while eating (the food does not taste quite as nice if I don't)

I read to relax
I read to learn
I read to escape

The last novel I read was Chimamanda's half of a yellow sun and despite the fact that I knew it was impolite, I took it with me for a friend's party and I read while I was there too.

I love words. I love disappearing into someone else's world and experiencing all the different emotions my hero(ine) goes through.

Unfortunately, because of a demanding Masters Programme I have not read as much as I would like to. No worry, there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Biodun said...

I am not reading any books @ d moment, my excuse is that I never have time, I am planning on buying a couple of books soon n the Susan Orman book sounds like something I would love to read!

Miguel said...

hmmm...48 laws of power ..read that a couple of years ago...very interesting ..isnt it amazing how when you are done reading a book you feel so empowered? i felt that way after reading that book... though I must say of late I have questioned a number of things I read in there...

Enjoy your reading.

Noni Moss said...

ahhhhhhh - I love reading too. any spare moment - on the tube, on the bus the one stop to my house, lunch breaks, going to the toilet :-D, and if its a really good book, till 4.30am when i know i have to get up at 7.

I am very proud to say I started reading the classics at age 10 - can I remember half the stories or sya i fully understood them? Hell no! But i read them all the same. Till today, i dont really know the full story of pride and prejudice but the film previews (havent seen the whole thing) help. I also read WAR & PEACE before i was 13. Good lord! I read all the enid blyton books, the nancy drews, hardy boys, famous 5, started chalet girls, all the sweet valley highs, didnt finish sweet valley university but got pretty far, read a lot of the archie comics with betty & veronica (loved those), and i used to colled other comics as well. I owned the issue where superman dies - i owned that. But we moved and it got thrown away with the trash. If i had kept it, you know how much i'd have now???

I've also read mills & boons and hsitroical romances extensively - lolll from age 13. I remmebr my mum caught me and embarrased me by taking me to school and complaining to the teachers about my reading material - and the people i was sourcing it from.

Nowadays i like to mix it up. If i read something heavy/intellectual, then i try and read something light and easy. Unless it's a particularly good series - then i read them all back to back (e.g Stephen King - the Dark Tower Series - his best work ever! I remember thinking if he dies before he finishes this, then i'd swear for him! Loll)

Ok i think i've rambled enough. Sorry for the typos - it's like 2.30 now and i'ms till awake :-(

uzo said...

Hear Hear.....And i used to think i was weird....