Do you read?

Do you read? If you do, is it actual books or just the daily newspapers?

I only ask because in my tadpole years I was taught that the average rag was written for 11 year-olds. I doubt anything’s changed, so why not put down that childish junk and ruminate on some healthy brain food. My suggestions:

  1. The Bible (English Standard Version for accuracy, and the King James Version for beautiful, poetical prose). Here you will see every human frailty laid bare, every moral argument addressed, and gain a deep insight into ‘the human condition.’
  2. Biographies. It really doesn’t matter who you choose, because there is something interesting and meaningful to be learned from the life of every human being. Pluck a topic out of the air and enjoy two or three biographies then move on to another. I now have my favourite authors and seek their works out, but in the process of discovering who they were I read far more widely than I ever thought I might and learned far more than I ever thought possible.
  3. Histories. Ever wondered why history tends to repeat itself? Probably because nobody bothers to read it so they never learn from it! Again, choose the first topic that pops into your head and have a go. You will be amazed to find how many other of your interests are inter-connected to the one you’re learning about, and why the events unfolding around you have far broader causes – and implications – than you were ever trained to believe. (It is this aspect that I enjoy more than any other. As my horizons began to broaden I found myself wondering again, delighting in life again, and becoming excited at the prospect of discovery again. Life ought not be banal!)
  4. Quotes. You clearly have access to a computer, so why not search for some sites with quotations from articulate thinkers and sign up for their content? As quotes take only a moment or two to read they provide a very speedy entree into the worlds of philosophy and literature, and will very soon pique your interest in all sorts of topics.
  5. Library. If all else fails (or even if it hasn’t) drop into your local library and wander about for 10 minutes. Provided your cerebral cortex is still intact you’ll be sure to find something with which to begin your journey.

So that’s my list. Do you suggest anything else?