“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
Passionate advocates of books and reading aren’t just committed, they’re also creative. “The Gentle Diva,” a sprightly blog by seasoned agent Molly Friedrich of The Friedrich Agency, featured a hilarious post about her adventures schlepping cartons of books out to Queens as a volunteer for “World Book Night” — now that’s dedication! But the post that really caught my eye featured a poster emblazoned with these words: “Turn It Off/Read A Book” and offered this creative take on the benefits of being a bookaholic:
“Besides, book-reading is actually good for your health, did you know this? Cool, no? According to Maryanne Wolf, the author of PROUST AND THE SQUID: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, any book-reading, the immersive experience of it, causes an immediate boost in mental acuity. It’s a regular memory and focus work-out, with visualization skills sharpened! And get this: according to a study from the University of Buffalo, book readers tend to be more compassionate, empathetic, even! One final stat, you’ll love this one: according to the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, people who read books for pleasure are 52% less likely than ‘reluctant readers’ to develop cognitive impairment.
“So the next time Aunt Erma’s birthday comes around, ease up on the cashmere scarf, buy her a book instead. Try, hard, to avoid the ease and convenience of Amazon; go on, find an Indie and buy a book, especially if you’re already in this wonderful industry called publishing!”
Books: what a gift! Reading isn’t just soul-satisfying and heart-opening, it also makes us mentally sharper and more compassionate: We learn not just about other lives, but about how to live our own in a kinder, gentler way. Wherever we are in our writing life, let’s remember the power in our fingertips. Bravo, Gentle Diva — write on!