Why I Read
Mark Twain observed that “the [one] who does not read has no advantage over the [one] who cannot read. Reading is important.
For writers, reading is essential. “If you don’t have time to read,” says Stephen King, “you don’t have the time—or the tools—to write.” In a recent blog post, writer Delia Latham lists 10 reasons why writers should read.
Reading is fundamental to who I am. I read for knowledge. I read for awareness of the world in which I live. I read because I love to read. As a writer, I read for all of the reasons Latham enumerates.
Without reading I am a shell, a body without a soul. Incredible journeys and adventures to faraway worlds shared with larger than life characters feed my creative spirit. Their absence would leave my life barren.
As a librarian, books are my life. Freedom to read anything I want is magical. My interests are wide-ranging. I love the serendipity of browsing through library stacks and the shelves of used book stores. Examining a used book, I like to imagine what it would say about its owners and its journey to a used book store. I’ve acquired many books from used book stores and friends of the library book sales. Some I read and keep. Others I read and pass on.
At the same time reading is fundamental to my creative life, it is fundamental to my professional life. I am a prospector in search of light. I am a miner of wisdom. Writing exposes the brilliant facets of enlightenment. Books are forms of intellectual prospecting and mining. A library is a tool used to extract the raw materials of learning.
My career and my search for inner wisdom have taught me that being the steward of the record of human knowledge is a sacred task. Lux mentis. Lux orbis. The light of the mind is the light of the world. And, reading is the key.