Reading Makes My World Go ‘Round

Books vs. Television (can't we all just get along)
Books vs. Television (can’t we all just get along)

Reading is a strange thing.  I find it completely different than anything else in life.  That’s a pretty profound statement because well, EVERYTHING is different than EVERYTHING else.  But what I mean is that reading makes me feel, think and act in a way that can’t be mimicked by any other activity.

Time Moves At The Speed Of…Well, Time:

I am currently reading “Darker Than the Deepest Sea: The Search for Nick Drake” on my lunch breaks at work.  There’s something about reading during these 30 minutes that just makes the pace of time feel so natural.  Let me explain: I consider 30 minutes to be a pretty short period of time. While getting engulfed into the life of an enigmatic character like Nick Drake, those 1800 seconds feel like they are over before they started.  Compare this experience to 30 minutes of sitting at a computer and working and I think you get what I mean.

My Brain Feels Like It’s Working:

Goooooooeeeyyy Brain Cupcakes
Goooooooeeeyyy Brain Cupcakes

I picture my brain as this gooey ball that sometimes lets in some new stuff, but mostly forgets the things I have learned throughout my life (probably looks something like the gooey brain cupcakes shown here to the right).  Most of the time the gooey ball just kinda sits there while I watch TV or listen to music and grooves along with the frequencies traveling through the air.  But when I am reading, I feel like the words and messages being communicated to me are actually flying off the page, into the goo, and giving my brain some sort of structure.  The words from books actually stick around and more often than not, make it into sentences or my writing.

Side note: I actually enjoyed readying during my graduate studies.  I would be watching TV and thinking “hey, I’m looking forward to reading after this show is over.”  My brain is one weird specimen.

Feeding My Feelings Through Fact:

Ok, I’m pretty nerdy.  I am currently also reading “A Short History of Nearly Everything” on my iPad.  This book is 900 pages of everything you learned in elementary, middle and high school but didn’t really care about at the time.  I’m getting a second chance to learn about the history of dinosaurs, the solar system, elements, geography, atoms, gravity, etc.  The weird thing is that as I am learning about the evolution of Earth and on a larger scale life in the Universe, I start to really have feelings and thoughts about my own existence.  I have laughed out loud, felt sorrow and concern, related with researchers and been angered by outrageous scientific claims. Nerd facts bringing out emotion? That’s just not right.  But it’s an experience that is more powerful than any drama on TV or comedy I see in the movies.

How? What? Huh?

Here’s my take on the whole thing: reading leaves room for imagination.  Two people sitting ten feet away from each other are reading the same chapter in the same book.  But both of them are having completely different experiences.  No matter how descriptive a story may be, each person is still going to have a different illustration playing out in their head.  Think about book clubs or even English classrooms – the purpose of discussions are to get everyone on the same page and understanding because of the “fill in the blank” nature of reading.

TV, movies and other media rich mediums don’t leave much room for interpretation.  It doesn’t take much effort for your brain to absorb the information so the goo just kind of goes with the flow.  The conscious effort required to understand a piece of text enriches and livens your senses.

So as I said, reading makes the world go ’round.  But round for me is probably different than what round is for you.  I think of round as a baseball, with seams, and printed logos.  You probably think of round like a globe, or a doughnut, or the Pillsbury dough boy, or…you get it.

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3 thoughts on “Reading Makes My World Go ‘Round

  1. mirrorgirl

    People who read are my favorite type of persons. I am a actually reading the same book as you at the moment, and have been surprised at the same things as you: I did not bother to dive into it at school, but know I can’t wait to learn more, and I also react strongly when I read about smart people who fight for their cause, but to no avail (they should have been alive today, then they would have seen that people heard them, at last). I don’t have a television with channels either, I rather use my time on reading, creative stuff or my friends!

    • Kenneth Bringelson

      Thank you for reading and I really appreciate the feedback. You seem to be very insightful and agree with you whole-heartedly. I know what you mean – I can’t wait to take in more information and actually take the time to understand concepts and ideas. It may sound nerdy but it’s totally thrilling!

      Do you have any other good book recommendations in the same vein as the one mentioned here? I’m ready for another one!

      • Anonymous

        I would rather be with people who care about something, than people who simply don`t bother to learn anything new. Actually, I wish I had more recommendations to you, than I have. I can see that you just wrote a post about Korea, and if you haven`t already read it, you can check out “nothing to envy”. You can read interviews from people who lived there, and the book is written like a story, so you really feel you are walking in their shoes. Terrible to read, but also necessarry. I would also recommend books and tv-shows from Derren Brown. He is one amazing man who does amazing things, and he even tells some of his secrets! Another book based on reality is three cups of tea! It`s about one man building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. You learn so much about their attituted and the politics by reading it. I have also started on a book called: We didn`t do it for you, where you learn about how Ethiopia was exploited for the benefit of rich men.

        Hope this might be something for you! Have you got any book recommendations?

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