There are many reasons to read. People read for school, for work, for pleasure, for instructions, for enlightenment and for spirituality. Remembering that significance is about importance, and about meaning, I want to talk about my practice of reading for significance.
Reading can happen quickly or at length. You can read a recipe or instructions and be off in running in moments. You can read a blog post or an article and be evaluating your practices to apply new ideas in short order. You can wrap up in a novel, or embark on a business adventure, escaping the real world by exploring the fantasy of another, or seeking the wisdom from another’s success.
I love instructions. I know many people that think that is crazy, but I do. The structure and order from a step-by-step journey with an expected outcome as the destination. I find extreme satisfaction in reaching the destination. For me, the success is sweet. The completion of any project is significant to me, whether that is creating a delicious dinner, one-step at a time, or building a bed from a somewhat questionable guide.
I want to make a difference for people. When I learn about a technique, a process, or an idea that has had an important impact for others, I want to try it out for myself, for those around me. I love reading blog posts and articles to learn what people are doing right now in their own worlds. Ideation is my weakest link. I do not develop unique ideas, but I see what other people do and I am able to see how it can work elsewhere.
I need to feel. I have an uncanny need to practice the breadth of emotions, to feel love and sorrow, thrill and fear, suspense and intrigue. I can find these emotions in the pages of a book, and I can summon them whenever I need them. Life is nothing without them. When I do not have the time to read, to open my heart and mind to feeling what the author has poured into his pages, the world becomes foggy and gray to me. It loses something. The monotony of the commute, the work, the commute, the dinner, the television, followed by sleep is merely rinsed and repeated. When do we have time to ride the roller coaster and experience all the things our heart has in store for us? Supposedly, we do those things so we can experience them, but I do not see very many people actually getting to that step. I get it. The exhaustion caused by the monotony is overwhelming, but that will not stop me from finding solace in someone’s words. Those words allow me to snap myself out of the drudgery and to feel alive, to make me want more, and to do more.
That. That is why I read.
Why do you read?