You know, I was doing fine until my brother-in-law called me a hoarder one day as he surveyed all the books I have amassed over the years. It hurt my feelings a little, I'll admit, but I soon realized where he was right and I was lucky -- I am a hoarder of books. I have a physical reaction to the idea of throwing one away. Maybe it's because I write too and know all the time, effort, passion, failures, and extraordinary resurrections that go into writing a book. It seems disrespectful to myself somehow. I know that sounds weird but it's true.
I love to read but my brother-in-law is right, I have too many books and no room for more (I won't tell him he was right though... never!). Then I had an epiphany -- I don't have to throw them away. I can quench my thirst for creativity, and develop a website to sell my own books plus the many titles I have on my shelves.I committed to selling my used books at a modest price, even those titles going for hundreds of dollars on commercial sites right now. I thought I can share knowledge and maybe have a dollar or two after shipping and handling to buy a shoe - one shoe - and then add a few bucks of my own to have 2 shoes - that is, a pair of shoes!
You'll notice most of the titles in the collection are self-help or business strategy books simply because for most of my career before retiring, my role was to help business leaders and business groups develop their business and leadership skills. I bought titles with my own money to see if they would be useful in my endeavor to help business groups, before requesting the company purchase bulk orders of the title for the training. Sometimes I purchased self-help books for my personal reference,
I do read fiction but tend to limit myself to titles I find interesting from the latest breakout authors' works. I find reading other strong writers' works help to inspire me to sit down and write, versus the procrastinating I have to battle all too often.
For example, I was a fan of Gillian Flynn's work long before her stories became big movies. I'll be adding her best work in my opinion, SHARP OBJECTS, to the our Bookstore collection this week. I'm now keeping my eye on Greer Hendricks, whose debut novel (The Wife Between Us - and not what you think) is catching on very quickly.
Now I know it's faster, easier, and less time to watch the movie versus reading the book. But restricting yourself to TV or movies limits your choices. Plus, there are specific benefits to reading - doubt me? How about these just for starters:
1) Reading is good for your brain - reading is to your brain what exercise is to your body.
2) Reading improves your conversational skills - it enriches your vocabulary and how to correctly use new words.
3) Reading strengthens your worldview and convictions - it can reinforce your current thinking or it can broaden your perspective and cause you to examine your beliefs in more depth.
4) Reading increases your knowledge of history - you'll learn historical politics, customs, cultures, economics, and intellect. Often these facts are set in the context of a story, making remembering them a lot easier.
5) Reading increases cultural knowledge - books set in cultures different from our own provide knowledge of those cultures and the emotional and spiritual lives of the people who live there (no flights needed).
6) Reading challenges your imagination - as you read, you put yourself in the characters’ shoes. Your brain goes beyond the words on the page, imagining details such as appearances, emotions, and surroundings . . YOUR details, not the director's.
.... and I'm confident if you think about it, you can come up with your own individual set of benefits as well.
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