Growing Words in Your Garden
Whether you are a writer, teacher, public speaker, business owner or any number of professions, your need to grow words inside your brain opens doors to worlds you never imagined. Why bother? Can’t you just Google the information you need? Maybe, but what if the sun sends out a massive solar flare (we’re overdue by the way) and knocks out technology as we know it? I’m getting ahead of myself and starting to write a story in my head. Focus. Focus. Focus. These are some of the many reasons why reading is brain food.
• Improves your ability to focus
• More likely to be a goal setter
• Learns to see different sides of the same problem
• Improves writing, speaking, creating
• Exercises your brain to improve memory
• Educated, Knowledgeable, Intuitive
• Makes you an interesting person
• Sparks dreams and ideas to improve your future
• A great way to chill out and refresh yourself
• Able to reflect on a problem and see diverse options
• Our brain learns to make pictures to represent words
Dangers of not reading
• Sets bad example for children
• Too dependent on technology
• Limits growth in your personal and professional life
• Limits cultural and historical experience
This is all well and good. You’re thinking maybe the only books I really enjoy is a good romance or western. You don’t need a college education to be educated. Truthfully, most of my knowledge has come from researching topics that sparked my interest. When I read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, I kept the Google button hot, dictionary pages dog-eared, art and religion books scattered around my desk. I learned so much.
Here is another tip; read children’s books on a topic you need more information. I love art, in no small part because of the Mike Venezia books I read to my children when they were little. They were hilarious and informative. When my five-year-old spotted a Monet poster in an out of the way restaurant in Cuba, Missouri, she pointed and shouted, “Look, Mommy. That’s a Monet in his waterlily period.” The waitress was blown away.
I collected about thirty of those books. Even when my kiddos left for college, I would buy those Venezia books. And like magic, when they were home for a few days, they couldn’t wait to get their hands on them. Now they share those books with their kids.
Making the most of books
1. Read voraciously
2. Read a variety of books; fiction, nonfiction, genres, difficulty levels
3. Read high and low brow literature
4. Look up any words you don’t recognize (Steve Berry books always made me do this.)
5. Read the dictionary
6. If you don’t want to buy magazines, spend a morning in a bookstore with a cup of coffee and a stack of all kinds you’d never buy. So much fun! Decorating to archeology.
7. Take advantage of BookBub and Amazon free days to load up your Kindle. Reading doesn’t have to be expensive. And don’t forget to visit your library.