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The Joy of Reading

I have always loved to read. When I was in elementary school, my dad would take me to the public library and let me check out dozens of books, which I would then devour over the course of two weeks. I was enamored with the real and imaginary worlds I discovered through reading. I could spend the morning dancing in a magical forest, and end the day solving a complex mystery with my (fictional) little brother. I spent much of my childhood in my room alone, but I was never lonely.

I have truly rediscovered my love for reading while in graduate school. Having a reading load that primarily consists of 15-page business cases, I’ve grown thirsty for guiding pieces of wisdom, dramatic tales of heartbreak, and enlightening stories of survival. I first dove into self-help books, reading as many dating books as I could get my hands on. I’ve since quenched my thirst for relationship books, and have moved on to a more general well-being and happiness spiritual focus. Thus, I am reading The Wise Heart upon one of my girlfriends’ recommendations.

When my mentor heard I was going to India with a group of my classmates, his eyes lit up and he insisted that I read Shantaram. A few days later, the book arrived, and I am relishing every page as I turn it, and loving every minute of the great adventure unfolding in the novel.  I head out to Mumbai in January, but I’ve already lived there for a month in my mind.

Reading is an important part of being a happy person. It’s your chance to travel without leaving your home, inhabit someone else’s world while leaving behind the consequences of their actions whenever you need to. Reading reminds us that life is an adventure with many twists and turns, and always an ending. Reading encourages us to treat our own lives like a story for which we are co-authors with God.

I’ll be a voracious reader for as long as I live. Books have a special place in my heart for their permanence and the companionship I feel from holding their flexible bulk in my hands and close to my face. I have nothing against the Kindle. I want one in fact.

Obviously, I love blogs. However, books were my best friends growing up. They know me well, and always appear right when I need them. They taught me about sex, about love, envy, betrayal, and self-discovery. They keep me company, and keep me dreaming. Their endless possibilities bring out the best in me—and inspire me to live up to the honor of being etched forever into history with a book of my own.

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