Taking the time to read

In a different life, my dream job is to be a librarian.

I spent many autumn and winter afternoons in the Bucharest British Council library, near a roof window facing trees and grey skies.

While working 3 months in Chicago, one of my favorite places was the Library – the large one with 7 floors, in the center. And I would borrow the maximum allowed number of books, every time.

chicago public library int

When in bookshops (Carturesti, anyone?) I have to extract myself forcefully, after an hour or so.

I try very hard to keep myself away from Amazon. Otherwise I would break the limits of my credit card.

So I end up having stashes of books to read.

My ideal living room would look something like this:

nigella-lawson-library-1

So the inevitable question that arises is …WHEN?

I found that reading while commuting (especially with headphones and a nice musical background) is the finest experience. Except you also need to keep an eye open to not miss your stop.

You wouldn’t want to get off at the end of the line. Or…you might, if your book is REALLY that good.

Also, reading in bed, on rainy Sunday mornings, is the best. It makes me want to pull out my Carlos Ruiz Zafon (n.a. Spanish dramatic dark gothic author) collection.

Reading non-fiction books can be less entertaining, but skimming them also works. Learn to photo-read, and you may spend less time researching, taking notes. But really, don’t photo-read fiction literature – that’s better enjoyed slowly.

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Why reading is medicine for the brain:

1. It deconnects you from the daily hubbub.

2. It provides insight into someone else’s mind and may help you get insights of your own.

3. It is a dive in a different world.

4. It provokes imagination. Nevermind all the movies made – nothing could compare to how YOU pictured it the first time you read the book.

5. It connects you with other people. Remember how you shared enthusiasm when discovering you and someone else had the same favorite book or author?

6. It provides a unique experience – like any piece or art, books unfold differently for individuals.

7. For a brief period of time, you ARE someone else, and away from your problems or stress. When I read, I gasp, cry or smile with the characters. I’m sure that’s interesting to watch from the outside.

8. It builds knowledge. How to better understand history than by reading literature set in that era?

9. It builds vocabulary - without you even noticing!

10. By reading several books by a certain author, you begin to understand that person’s point of view and personal philosophy. That’s an interesting experience, considering you may be hundreds of years apart.

So, next time you have 15 minutes to spare, take a book and dive in…

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