I read. A lot.
You knew this, right?
HA! Ha ha. Ha ha haa ha haa.
I get quite a few odd comments about my favorite hobby. Some share non-verbal opinions with their rolling eyes or pursed lips about how it must be nice to have so much cushy wushy free time to put my feet up with a paperback and eat bon bons. Others simply shrug it off, unable to even comprehend that someone could enjoy a hobby so much, when they can’t even make time to brush their teeth or call their mothers let alone develop a constructive hobby.
Long story short, most think it’s a purposeless hobby, an entertainment. And sometimes, when I’m deep in the throes of a heavy reading week, I believe them. Is this really all worthwhile? Should I tone things down a bit?
But then I walk into my office, or turn into my bathroom upstairs and catch a glance of the extra bedroom in my peripheral vision and the sprawling shelves of paperback overflow it houses, and I’m reminded. I remember. I see all of the books that I love so much, remember the memories they have created, and the doubt disappears.
I look at the Shack and remember how much it shifted my thinking about, and therefore my dedication to, my faith.
I remember how The Book of Awesome made me laugh. Over and over and over.
I remember what Born to Run taught me about real running, and convinced me I could actually do it. I didn’t realize that I needed that boost of confidence until I received it.
I remember how The Slight Edge opened up my eyes to different philosophies on productivity and effectiveness in business and in life, and How Starbucks Saved My Life introduced me to the company culture that the coffee giant has successfully implemented.
I have never not thought about that culture, and appreciating and noticing and admiring it, upon walking into any Starbucks since the day I finished that book.
I remember how Eat Pray Love helped me realize that you could go do something different with your life, and eventually led me to read more about lifestyle design. And it made me laugh. And hug my box of spaghetti.
The Glass Castle reminded me how awful some children have it, and how grateful I am that I had the upbringing that I did. I have never looked at my dog the same after reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, nor thought more about the spiritual aspect of our pets like I did after turning its final page.
I remember how Prep opened my thinking to teenage angst, and curiosly convinced me to evaluate my own experience during those years. It also makes me smile every time I run my fingers over the embossed grosgrain ribbon on its cover.
Textured book covers. Swoon.
I remember how Harry Potter convinced me that I do, in fact, enjoy some fantasy/science fiction-ish reads. And reminded me to daydream more often. And how powerful a human being’s imagination can truly be. Ms Rowling…I mean, wow.
I remember how The Business of the 21st Century monumentally shifted and strenghtened my belief in the network marketing industry. An industry I already loved before cracking its cover.
I remember how Twitter Power, now practically useless in its outdated advice, gave me the confidence that I could actually jump into this social media thing. Where all of my amazingly enjoyable and beneficial networking contacts would have come from without the launch that that book provided me, I have no idea.
I look at those books and I remember.
And then I never allow a reading naysayer to make me doubt my hobby ever, ever again.
Whether you read articles online, full books on your iPad, or the old fashioned paper and glue versions, or even if your hobby is something else entirely, it’s yours. Don’t forget it.
If it opens your eyes or expands your vision or makes you happy, then you know what? It’s worth it.