“All the secrets of the world are contained in books.” I love this quote by Lemony Snicket. Books are like treasure chests, full of the most wonderful things. When I first began reading, it was to discover adventures—And those adventures taught me all kinds of things, from moral ideals to exciting new ideas. To my delight, I discovered that the learning never stops. Whether we’re reading fact or fiction, reading helps us understand the world we live in and the people we live with. It introduces us to different ideas and inspires us to think. To make sense of our existence. To indulge in creativity.
There’s no such thing as a passive reader.
All those amazing little squiggly lines on a page require brain activity. Not only are we interpreting them into concepts we are familiar with, but we use them to create.
“The arrival of food interrupted his construction. A thick steak, roasted onions, and a loaf of bread washed down with stale water to fatten up the jansu’s prize.”
Can you read that line (from my forthcoming novel, Flesh and Bone) and not imagine a savory, aromatic meal? Do you not wonder what’s being built? What’s a “jansu”? Why is the prize being fattened up? (And do you envision something like the wicked witch fattening up Hansel and Gretel?)
I challenge you to go forth and exercise your brain. Learn some stuff while you’re taking some virtual adventures.
What things have you learned while you were reading fiction? What novel taught you the most? Share how and why in the comments below!