It wasn’t until after high school that I learned to appreciate a good book. There was a couple that I enjoyed reading, but overall I found it to be a chore. Writing was generally the same. I was given assignments and I completed them with a desire for decent grades. I connected to other forms of expression and had no problem waiting for the movie to come out.
It was a desire to learn more about certain topics that led me to start reading. I started reading a lot of non fiction. I enjoyed learning about things that interested me personally. As I began to find that I could actually enjoy reading I started asking friends and relatives about books they liked and I found authors and genres that where engaging. I looked back and wondered if I had changed or if I wasn’t properly introduced. I decided years later that I wanted to teach secondary education. I have a love for history, but I debated teaching English because I wanted to give kids at that age an enthusiasm that a few of my teachers lacked.
Today I still read quite often. I read a lot of books on history, politics and biographies. I do also read a lot of fiction. Every vacation begins by finding a good book to read. Audio books and podcasts have started to chip away my time with a book in my hands. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I’m still taking in information and finding pleasure in an author’s ability to captivate my imagination. I still cringe a little when after seeing a movie and somebody says, “The book was way better.” But, I do that as well. I’ve left theaters near anger at the changes the movie made as compared to the book it was based upon.
Writing is something I wish I was better with. I’m amazed at the ability some people have to write and express themselves. It’s a talent I wish I could capture. I’ve tried writing a journal as a way to get a better feel for it. This often lasts only for short periods of time.
The value I see in reading is an ability to connect with an author or an idea. Our ideas can also be challenged, which I believe we should all be willing to do. Reading gives us access to our imagination in a way that no other medium can achieve. For me, I find the most value that reading provides is information and understanding.
The value in writing is the ability to provide those things to the reader. We all have something to share. Writing is a way to share ourselves and our imagination. There is an untold value in that!