In my first post, I mentioned how seeing the ill effects of students who were bored, failing in their dreams their first year of College, was an impetus in wanting to do a blog on how we can live fulfilling lives. Their comments initially dumbfounded me as I believe I have always tended to be a low boredom type, especially when it comes to education. I love learning. I believe a major reason for this is that in my early elementary years my mother, each Summer involved me in the local library reading program. All my life I have enjoyed reading. Some of my research readings on boredom show that readers often have lower boredom levels.
This came close to home when a couple of years ago, I was trying to encourage my teenage daughter to read more books. She was not too keen on the idea. She told me that she was not a Bookhead like me. I immediately thought of the full bookshelves in my home office and the two full bookshelves in my work office. Bookhead -- I liked the term.
Being a Bookhead is a way to expand your mind and make your life more than ok. Fiction books can take you places in your mind that may encourage you to travel or try out something new in your life. Or just the imagination side of fiction can bring fulfilling enjoyment to a boring day. Nonfiction books provide knowledge to grow your mind and explore new experiences in life. They also help build critical thinking skills as you think through ideas and issues in nonfiction books.
There have been studies in the recent years showing a decline in reading. The National Endowments for the Arts did a study on the decline in reading from 1982-2002. Any drop in reading levels or people who think reading is boring makes me want to shout out the positive side of building a habit of reading in our lives. I came across a thoughtful opinion on the subject from 2007 looking at another survey about reading habits. The writer points out how other cultures such as the Chinese and Indians are moving ahead of us in the US, due to their increased reading habits. In an era where the news points to a decline in reading I would like to encourage more people to try out being a Bookhead as one way to improve their lives. I have never really been a follower of Oprah’s television shows but one area I respect her in is her emphasis on promoting books and reading.
In the book, This Unbearable Boredom of Being, the author, Genrich Krasko, speaks of the importance of reading – “But one cannot build up one’s personality, with high self esteem and a mature approach to life without reading and reading a lot. Extinction of books will eventually bring about the extinction of Western Civilization.” Reading a wide selection of books will build our lives up with stronger minds and deeper fulfillment. Support your local library and local bookstores by making a commitment to watch less TV, less internet surfing, (except for this blog!), and make time to read more books. Start with topics and reading styles you enjoy and branch out from there. For encouraging younger people to read check out the website, http://www.readkiddoread.com/home by author James Patterson. It is a helpful resource for encouraging young people to read.
As for my daughter’s reading, back when she called me a Bookhead, a friend told me not to push books on her. Instead let her find books that she liked in her own timing. I wish I could say her recent interest in Ted Dekker books was my doing. Actually I am grateful to her English teacher and her school librarian for connecting her with books that she enjoys reading. That is the key in moving beyond ok in your life by becoming a Bookhead -- find what books you enjoy and enjoy a relaxing, fulfilling Summer read!