...how reading calms the spirit
Oscar Wilde once said: “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” I stumbled over this quote and realized how many books I actually want to read again. Just to relive these moments of excitement, amusement or a writing that deeply touches my heart. To- again- live that life of a character in my mind, who I adored, maybe even missed after finishing the story.
Books can be the unbiased counsellors we sometimes need in life. And if bad, the most bias intriguers that don’t deserve space in our bookshelf. But even those can teach a lesson and make us think.
In the age of Ebooks, I am certainly a misfit in the world of gadgets. I have never given up on paper, as the smell and feel of a real book is- to me- an important part of the entire joy of reading. Some might roll their eyes when I say I like to spend time in libraries and feel happy when I found an ‚oldie‘, that has wandered through many hands. But I have this notion that losing the activity of reading an actual book might also do something to us. It feels as if ninety percent of every activity that includes amusement and reading nowadays, is experienced on the cold, slick surface of a device that has the appeal of a kitchen counter. Ironically, I find myself writing this for you on a laptop to read on such a device.
Further I believe that the movement of turning the pages and feeling the material is a different form of reading to the mind as well. I sure have no evidence to proof that. But isn‘t there a difference in how and on what we read?
Reading reduces stress. No, that is not a scientific fact that I‘ve heard of yet either. But I claim its true. The day can be as stressful as one can imagine. Once I find myself curled up with a book, my thoughts stop racing and my heartbeat seems to be regulated after a while. I‘m travelling a little. Get away from anxiety or anger I might have felt hours before. And its even adjustable!
Is your mind up for romance or the deep questions of life, read some poetry. Are you about to learn, read specific literature, or simply get lost in the life story of someone else. It sure will turn out to have just as many ups and downs as yours.
For a long time now, scientists try to locate the level of the attention span of a human, compared to that of a gold fish or dolphin. Wherever this might go, I think humans have indeed lost a particular part of patience for the written word.
We feed our minds with photos and videos. Now faster than ever.
While once a photo was taken to catch the memory of a special moment, we now flood the world with thousands of fragments of our life. Lost is the specialty. But its quick and we don’t need to linger before moving on to the next one.
A book expects more from us. Our attention, time and leisure.
And once lost in a good story, the feeling of wasting time, simply doesn‘t exist. Its an illusion as time itself. Reading is full of surprises and still- despite every modern trend- the friend that is always accessible. A comforter, right there, in the book shelf.