Written by: Brady Johnson Published: February 23rd, 2022
Lesson #4 - Read a Book
The seemingly lost art, reading a book. Growing up, my parents would give us paperback books filled with pictures and descriptive language. As time went on and technology gained power, an ipad soon became my go to, then an ipod, then an iphone. I became harder and harder to want to read a book. And rightfully so, I think if you ask any kid what he would rather do, play on the ipad or read a book, the answer would be play on the ipad 10 times out of 10. But many people forget that reading is supposed to be enjoyable. It is supposed to be relaxing for the mind.
Covid hit in March 2020. I would spend my days making cooking videos, landscaping, or literally doing nothing to occupy my time. My phone became a problem and I began to become very reliant on social media for my entertainment and happiness. But I was not really learning anything. I had my knee surgery in the fall of 2020. I was left completely immobilized and it hurt to even take a step with my left leg. I knew that if I resorted to watching TV shows and going on my phone, I would dig myself a deep hole that would be difficult to climb out of. So I turned up the difficulty in my life at that time. I picked out two books. Trip by Tao Lin and The Shining by Stephen King. I set a goal of 20 pages a day for myself and tried to stick to it as much as possible.
After I finished both of my books later that year, I picked up another book which was not the typical format for a book but it changed my perspective on books instantly. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. He wrote a book which was basically an assortment of his journal entries throughout the years. It included poems, entries, pictures, song lyrics and stories. I loved it. It took me less than a week to finish that book and ever since then I have been trying to write my own book and live my life in a more adventurous way.
Reading makes me feel good, it is an escape from reality. In this fast paced world of ours we need those small escapes from reality where we can allow the mind to relax. Reading a book takes my mind off of everything
So what should you do if you have not read a book in years? I would suggest picking up a book with a storyline and trying to get really engaged with the material. When I first tried to start reading again I tried reading self help books and books about art. But honestly those books are more like long articles and it is hard to stay engaged with the material. It is your life though, you know your interests best, tailor your books to your interests. Read the cheesy romance novel or the book about the serial killer that is what makes you happy.
But if I was your life counselor, I would say to put away your phone for an hour and pick up that book you have been waiting to start. I just bought American Psycho from Barnes N Noble today and I am super excited to read it because after I read it I can watch the movie. That's another cool part about reading books, comparing the books to the films.
Reading should not be a chore, it should be something that you look forward to. No matter if it’s 80 degrees and you're sipping a lemonade on your lawn chair or it's 20 degrees and you're curled up with a blanket and your book. It’s a vacation for your mind, and an escape into another world.