Category Archives: Telling Your Story

Why Books Are Good For You

IMG_5594I am an unapologetic bibliophile. I am delighted with the moniker nerd and everything that might mean in terms of books.

This love affair began when I was a barefoot child living in the bush and books were my entertainment, aside from playing in the river with my brothers and sister – we didn’t have a TV. I only wish I had the choices now available to children and teens in terms of reading matter. Enid Blyton titles got a good battering but she has a lot to answer for in terms of good literature. But I still have a soft spot for The Magic Faraway Tree.

Instinct tells me that books are awesome. They’re good for you. But if statistics tell us that only 46% of Australians have decent literacy skills, then many people are missing out on their magic. This is why I feel compelled to spread the joy of reading to the masses and just about all the work I do is centred on it. Without good literacy skills, people have less job opportunities and this has a flow on affect on self-esteem and life quality.

A few weeks ago I read a small paragraph in the Herald Sun about the fact that reading for as little as 6 minutes can reduce stress by 68%. As you can imagine I pointed this out to my other half as justification for how much I read. But there are so many good reasons to read a book.

Ever heard the term ‘use it or lose it’? It applies to all parts of our body including the brain. Reading is good mental stimulation and is a known activity to slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. So while you’re using reading as a health benefit you can also increase your knowledge from both non-fiction and fiction books. Don’t think a novel has no knowledge to impart. Writers spend a lot of time researching their facts and put it in their stories.

Reading improves analytical skills, empathy, writing skills, and vocabulary, adding up to a more educated, intelligent human. We should never stop learning and reading allows us to keep doing it.

Best of all, reading is fun! A reader can be transported to a totally different world or be educated about a topic that interests them. This is why I believe that the physical form is going to be around for many, many years.

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Write it down

10915280_10205676058651047_6488602173050825869_nI wanted this blog to be awesome because I needed some grand gesture. I wanted to write something that would honour someone very special to me. I wrote it over and over in my head until I realised that nothing I say will convey what I want. Sometimes it happens like that. Maybe it’s too soon. Maybe time is needed to process things in order to be able to give it substance.

Or maybe humans have this overwhelming need to make sense of things. Of life. Do we make it  more complicated?

All I know is that we have lost our beloved dog, Bella, and we feel bereft. If you aren’t a dog lover you may roll your eyes but if you are, you will get me. In the few days of life without her, I have marvelled at the fact that this creature wasn’t a whiner or a barker and yet the house is so quiet without her. We are unmoored.

I know that I will be able to use this experience in my writing at some stage. It is too soon now. But to be an artist we need to allow ourselves to feel these experiences in order to be able to use them in our craft. This is what writing is for me, a way of making sense of the world.

In the meantime, I will do what I always do when I feel pain: write it down. These musings won’t be for anyone else but myself, in my journal. They will help me order my feelings, smooth them out, find somewhere to store them.

For now, I have no grand gestures. I can look at this photo of her and see her smiling at me  and simply feel thankful for having had her in my life for a short time.

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