The Joy of Reading

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch."
Sir Richard Steele

When I taught third grade, I included this quote on my students weekly homework sheet. I believe that a huge part of my job was to instill the joy of reading into the young minds I had the privilege of shaping. I saw it over and over again; the students who enjoyed reading excelled in school! So many young children believe they dont like to read, and it was my mission to help them discover what a wonderful world awaited them through the words written in books. Many people I speak with concur with these young kids I taught, in that they do not enjoy reading. I have learned that their negative attitude toward reading is mostly as a result of them not reading the right material.

If your only memory of reading is having to read boring history books in the 7th grade, then I understand your detest fully. If you had to read on your bed as a punishment, then I understand. If you struggled at reading and then had to read aloud in front of the whole class, then I understand. If your reading experience was never more than college textbooks, then I understand. If you have to read stacks and stacks of corporate jargon, then I understand. Butin my humble opinion, your perspective on reading can change if you delve into a book that sparks your interest and keeps you on the edge of your seatjust like a good movie can.

Back to the opening quote:

What happens to your body when you do not exercise? It becomes lazy, unhealthy, and fat. Your muscles lose tone; your skin sags and looks ashen. Your heart is weak, you are more prone to illness, and your mood is low. Quite the opposite is true if you do exercise: You have improved health, you have energy, you sleep better, you look and feel alive, your skin glows. You feel upbeat, energized, and sexy. You are strong and rarely become ill. With these two contrasting notionsone could easily argue: Why wouldnt you exercise??

I have found the same to be true with reading. If you do not read: Your mind becomes dull, your vocabulary slips, and you regress or become stagnant. On the other hand, if you do read regularly: Your imagination soars, your vocabulary heightens, your speech broadens, your mind sharpens, your memory improves, and you become more confident, empowered, educated and interesting. Again, with these two contrasting notionswhy wouldnt you read??

The fact that you are reading this Blog right now is wonderful! I am so glad you are reading this; as it strengthens your eyes, opens your mind, and makes you think! I hear many people tell me, in answer to my honestly admitting that I love to read, that they dont have time to read! Oh My! Time is usually the worst excusebecause, lets face it, if it were a priority, you would make time to do it. How much time do you spend mindlessly in front of the television each week? How much time are you on Face Book or surfing the internet? If you could just replace one hour a day of those activities with readingyou would be so blessed. Your mind would open to new thoughts, you would allow your imagination to soar, and you would be engrossed in something healthy. Think about the adventures you would "take", the characters you would "meet", and the places you would "see"!

When you read, you learn a great deal about life and people and yourself!

When was the last time you read a book from cover to cover? If you are like me and you are always engrossed in a bookgood for you! If notask yourself, "Why not?" There are endless books, with so many genres. What is your favorite? Do you love fiction, non-fiction, poetry, horror, mystery, romance, Christian, self-help? The list goes on and on. I know some people who love to read recipe books! Yesit takes them to foreign lands and they learn about new ingredients, and different cultures and peopleall through the love of food. I have always been a reader and have loved books since I can remember. I know not everyone had that same experience as a child, but you can change how you feel now about reading.

Take Action: If you are a "reader" then you already understand the power of a book. Keep stretching your mind, broadening your horizons, and getting lost in your imagination! If you love to read, but tell yourself you dont have timemake timereplace night-time TV with reading. If you dont think of yourself as someone who likes to readthat is a belief that you think is real lets change that. Take "baby steps" and start reading something fun and small. When that brings you joy, find another book that makes your heart sing. Continue reading, and be aware of how your life is blossoming with all the benefits!

Plus, Ill let you in on a little SecretReading is Sexy!



  1. Daddy-G says:

    Well, like you, I LOVE to read. Admittedly, I am one of those “freaks” who reads ALL the instructions before I begin assembly… I read (and actually enjoy) instructional manuals, rules, guidelines, laws, etc… Heck, I actually read the details of each initiative before I vote! And a good fiction novel – forget about it – can’t put the thing down! In fact, I am an “old-school” dude that looks forward to pulling the rubber band off the paper every morning and enjoying that hour or so with my coffee reading it – world or local events, sports, business, comics – no matter – I love to read the paper! I once read a book by Bill Gates “The Road Ahead” in which he comments on how the tactile feeling of holding a book, magazine or newspaper and turning its pages is still so enjoyable to him (and me) that with all the digital text available, (we) prefer that!
    Thanks for the challenge, Deanna and READ ON PEOPLE! Because reading is fundamental – remember that?

  2. Christopher Hopkins says:

    Once again, another impactful and motivational blog. You make Monday mornings pretty inspirational!!

  3. Gigi Peterson says:

    So that’s how you got to be so sexy!!! You are one to truly practice what you preach, and being your friend has inspired me to begin reading again. I hope that this blog inspires someone to take action, go get a good novel and READ. It really is one of the best things that I have done for myself.. Thank you Deanna!!

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