Reading has opened up my life considerably. I started reading at a very late age (five or six?). Before then I was effectively illiterate, while my siblings seem to have had earlier persuits into the literary world. And when I did start being able to read words by myself, I didn’t read for leisure until I was ten or so, even then I read for leisure maybe one book a year.
My first read-for-leisure books were the “The Three Investigators” series. From ten to twelve, I read three books in the series; I do not recall having read any other book during those years.
I stopped reading books for leisure after that. In secondary school (my early teenage years) I was really into soccer magazines, and later on computer magazines (both of which I have since abandoned).
My school then implemented this reading program where we were all required to read either a book or Newsweek magazine from Mondays to Wednesdays. Mother-tongue (mandarin for me) reading was done on Thursday and Friday.
The mandarin reading times were torture. Reading it was like reading a painting, almost impossible. And it didn’t help too that the chinese book was thick and heavy, so most of us would just tear the book into little parts and share! Failure to have a book was punishment by standing up for the whole reading period.
It was in upper-secondary (15 or 16-years-old) that my love for reading really blossomed. I took home from the library my very first self-help book, called Talking to Ducks, as well as a book on the types of joys, of which title I have forgotten. I was from then on hooked on non-fiction books, especially those on psychology and self-help.
My language has certainly improved, and so has my general knowledge.
Did you know that “congruent joy” is a joy you feel for no reason at all? It just comes like that, and is one of the most profound joys around. Did you know that most of what we are are due to what we are thinking?
Did you know that an atom’s ‘spin’ is not really spin as we normally know it? Have you heard of Schrodinger’s Cat? About the crazy mental experiments he puts it through? Do you know that most of us are using only 10% or less of our brain?
Well, you can find it all at your local library! Or you can simply buy the books (things I buy: books, food, clothes — in that order!). It’ll help you grow, I guarantee it!