Friday, 14 November 2014

5 Ways that Books have helped me

Yesterday I was feeling incredibly lonely and miserable, so I stopped off at Foyles on the way home. I had a book in mind [Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse]by the comedian David Mitchell] that I knew would comfort me, and I was right. My loneliness dissipated as I read Mitchell's witty diatribes, and that got me thinking about how books have helped me in the past:

1.  They've inspired me

Books are quite literally fuel for my brain. All of my best ideas come from reading books [although music and people have a role to play too] and I feel that if I stopped reading, my creativity would dwindle. Books give me energy, they get me thinking, they get my brain going. I feel that to a large extent, books have shaped who I am - being a bookworm is a huge part of my identity. I certainly wouldn't have such a passion for writing and storytelling if I didn't love reading so much.

2. They've got me through breakups

I have wonderful friends, most of whom have always been very supportive when I've gone through heartache in the past, and I feel that books play a similar role in my life. Books are just there for you, they never run away, they're never too busy, and if you pick up a funny or uplifting one, they provide enough comfort to get you through even the darkest of days.  

From the

3. They've given me advice

I don't like taking advice from anyone [though I do concede that I can't do everything by myself ] and its rare that I actually ask for it. I find that people usually dispense it without my wanting them to, which can be very irritating. Somehow though, it's easier for me to swallow advice if it comes from a book. My favourite bit of advice that I ever got was from Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? where Kaling advocated creating your own  writing opportunities, instead of waiting for someone to just hand you work on a plate. I took that advice to heart, and its one reason why I decided to start this blog in the first place, so that I could create my own opportunities - this blog is a stepping stone to creating the future I want.

4. They've taught me things

In a world where Google dominates everything, it's easy to forget that you can still learn things from books, and some people would go so far as to say why bother trying to learn things the old- fashioned way? Well, it's true that Google is an incredibly useful tool [I certainly use it all the time] but the things I've learnt from books have made more of an impact on me. Books have taught me how to empathise with people, 'to walk a mile in another man's skin' [to paraphrase Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird] they've taught me how to understand others and how to relate to them.  Books have taught me a lot more about dealing with humanity than Google has.

5. They've made it easier to do difficult things

I use books as a reward for getting work done. When I was at university, I would write a paragraph of an essay and then read a paragraph of a fun book. For some reason, reading kept me in the mood to write [although doing it that way took some time!]. I sometimes use a similar system today, if I complete a blog post, I can read a chapter, if I send a manuscript to an agent, I can read another. If I sort out some admin I can maybe even read two. Pretty much everything I've ever achieved on my own has been done whilst reading books, as they always motivate me to keep going even when I resolutely don't want to [though I hasten to add I don't read whilst I'm at work - except whilst eating my lunch, as I know that my boss reads this blog!]  

I hope that I never stop reading; books really do enrich my life and I'm grateful to them for that.

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