Sunday, November 7, 2010

Whatcha Readin', Books? Giveaway

Today my post is a response to a giveaway hosted by Whatcha Readin', Books?
To celebrate her 50th follower, she has launched a unique and challenging contest, posing the question:

                                 What does reading mean to you?

This question required me to struggle a bit. It's not easy to express something so personal. But I decided to give it a try.

What does reading mean to me?

The short and simplistic answer is what I allude to in my "about me" section: reading is my safety valve. I escape into fiction to relax and to clear my mind of the troubles of every day life in the modern world.

However, if I examine the question more deeply I recognize how false an answer that is. Reading isn’t a way to escape from real life, reading has always defined my life. Books are a part of my earliest memories and books are entwined in the memories I have of my children’s lives. Just about everything tangible (and many of the intangibles) that I’ve accomplished in my career(s) are the direct result of this obsessive activity. Reading is not only what I do to relax, it’s what I have done, consciously or unconsciously, throughout my type-A driven life, to succeed. It sounds almost mercenary, but I don’t mean it to sound that way. As a child devouring Watership Down and the Chronicles of Prydain I didn’t think "I need to read this to get into medical school." I read because I couldn’t do otherwise. With every step in my life’s journey, reading has stretched my brain, fertilized my imagination, and taught me to look beyond boundaries to possibilities. And although I may gripe about my type-A driven life, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love what I do. I love the reading I do for work to learn something new. Moreover, reading is why I write. The written word has a way of spilling over, doesn’t it?

And so what does reading mean to me? It isn’t is verb. Reading is more than something I do– I am a reader. It’s who I am.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Susan for entering my giveaway! What a lovely response :) The winner will be announced on Nov. 14th. Stay tuned...