My Journey With Books

I’ve always had trouble reading and finishing books. Honestly, my problem has never been with the actual comprehension of the text being examined. I did quite well in my English classes, and always read the novels that were required of me. Reading magazines and news paper articles wasn't a problem, making myself stop everything long enough (my thoughts and 'busy body' movements mostly) to spend the necessary time to complete the task was. I felt overwhelmed, by the number of pages and the amount of time it would take to read them. Reading for hours just seemed like a waste, even though I knew it was definitely important for me to do. I‘d force myself to read when often times I just felt like going to sleep instead. I recognized that in other areas of my life this concern was mirrored through unfinished work and inconsistent practice.

Toward the end of 2007 certain changes were occurring within me. I had symptoms of chronic stress. I’d experienced quite a bit in the previous 3 years leading up to 2008. Even still, I was consistently in the gym and leading what I thought was a healthy life. One day, a close friend of mine gave me a book entitled, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. Of course, my first thought was, ‘I hope I can finish this’ as I sat and took note of the number of pages in the book. I was motivated by the content within. I knew I needed it in my life. I immediately believed that I could and would finish the book, even if it took me months to do so. After only a few pages, the book was pointing out my problem with reading. I needed to free myself for a moment from time and thoughts, in order to enter an open space and stillness to read this book.

Eventually an even bigger epiphany came upon me. The exercise of reading is a form of meditation in itself; like a time to time out. I felt the healing benefits every time I picked up that book, no matter how much I read from it in a day. I felt so good while reading it, that I didn't want it to end. The substance of what I was reading was in full alignment with what the act of reading was doing for me during that time.

I now have a list of books, that I have a goal of reading within the year. The content of all the books I’ve been reading and will read is connected to the reason why I find reading to be so important now. I have a sort of spiritual moment every time I choose to stop the busy mind chatter and read. I’m inspired by the books I have read so far, but even more inspiring is what the journey of reading a whole book bit by bit, day by day, at my own pace has become.


I Sort Glass said...

Reading is fundamental.

My mother was the one that started me reading. I wasn't forced to read, so early on I really enjoyed it. I went to the library as a kid often.

Working with children in the pass I've noticed instances that would cause any child to not actually want to read. Sometimes reading is a punishment as is writing. Being forced to do something and also being given very uninteresting material to read has an adverse effect on youth causing them to decide early on that they simply don't like reading and will make no real effort on their own to do so.

Anonymous said...

I can definitely relate. Often times I find myself moving at such a fast pace I outrun the serenity that books represent. These words come into our lives at the right time to not only give us insight but to broaden our horizons. It becomes somewhat like a thread of knowledge. Similar books that I've read that have transformed me mid-read have been "The Four Agreements" by Don Miquel Ruiz, "Beyond Fear" and "The Voice of Knowledge" by the same author. "The Magic of Thinking BIG" by David Schwartz was magical in its transformation. I would implore everyone to pay some attention to that dusty tome that is screaming at you, staring at you and begging for you to indulge in it. There is something that lies within it for you, to use in the NOW.