So Simple and So Good For You

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Reading books is good for you. Even Oprah says so.

(Writing books is, too, even if while you’re doing it you’re not sure if you’ll ever finish. Ahem.)

Late last summer I finished writing my first book. Among other benefits, that experience gave me even more respect for book authors than I had before. Writing is hard work. Putting your ideas and words out into the world for others to read—and perhaps criticize—is also a challenge. 

So one of my goals in the New Year, now that I’m done writing my first book, is to read more of other people’s books. It’s sometimes hard to carve out time for book reading but I notice that when I do, what I get from a good book reverberates in my life far beyond the time I spend in its pages. A few wonderful returns I get from book reading:

*Reading helps with my writing. I think it’s one of the best ways to become a better writer. For instance, reading a literary writer helps me expand my vocabulary and reading a fast-paced popular novel helps me learn strategies to keep a reader engaged in what I write. 

*Reading connects me with many more lives. I know a lot of people and I love to travel, but there are so many lives and perspectives I will never brush up against in person. Books can help me “meet” more people and try to put myself into their shoes for a little while. 

Reading books is good for the brain, including memory function and good for overall cognitive health and gives you benefits you don’t get from screens. Even Oprah says so.

To help me with my book reading goal I signed up for something called Goodreads this month at the advice of a writer and reader friend. She suggested I start trying to keep track of books I’ve read and want to read, to help me stay organized. She also mentioned Goodreads Giveaways, so I decided to put up three free hard copies of my new book How Do You Want To Show Up? as prizes in a drawing on the site. I’m also answering select questions on my new Goodreads author page. If you already use Goodreads you can sign up for free to win the book starting January 10th by clicking a button on the site. You can also join for free if you aren’t yet a member. I haven’t spent much time on Goodreads yet, but I am hoping to make good use of it this year. 

If you’re not on Goodreads, I’d still love your book thoughts. What are you reading this year or what did you love from last year? Who is your favorite writer? Do you belong to a book club or website you recommend for tracking your reading or finding inspiration? I’m looking for support on this reading journey.

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