July 19, 2016
Note From Rochelle
I’m on my annual social media sabbatical. Today’s tip is about how books transform lives. It’s a good thing to remember—especially since we write the books the whole world reads!
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
#WritersRead: Books Transform Lives by Rochelle Melander
When I was a kid, my reading habit got me into trouble—a lot. My teachers warned me of the dangers of reading books that were too old for me. (There’s stuff in there you shouldn’t know about!) My parents encouraged me to go out and play and cautioned me against too much reading (You’re going to lose your eyesight if you keep reading so much!)
If only they knew then what we know now. Recent studies have discovered that reading teaches empathy, reduces stress, and prevents Alzheimer’s disease. Lately, I’ve noticed that characters in some of my favorite books attest to the power of reading. While this may seem like a vast conspiracy—the writers of books want you to read books so their characters defend books!—it’s one I’m happy to join. And why not? I’m happy to have one more reason to keep reading.
Here’s what popular books say about how reading transforms us:
“Everybody comes to the library naked. That’s why they come here—to dress themselves in books.”
(The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, p. 56)
“In the end, I go where I always go when I need information on something baffling, poisonous, or terrifying: the library. The answer will be here, surely—among the twenty thousand books, calm and waiting, on the shelves.”
(How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, p. 44)
“Looking at our faces you might have said we were all feverish and half mad, and perhaps you would have been right, but Helen’s book made us feel we could rip the stars from the sky and write the world anew. For the first time I saw how I might write a book about the Kiona. I even made a small outline of how it might be shaped. And just these few words in my notebook made many things feel possible.”
(Euphoria by Lily King, p. 177)
“I no longer believe I can save people. I’ve tried, and I’ve failed, and while I’m sure there are people out in the world with that particular gift, I’m not one of them. I make too much of a mess of things. But books, on the other hand, I do still believe that books can save you.”
(The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai, p. 319)
“The Queen said: ‘Yes,. That is exactly what it is. A book is a device to ignite the imagination.’”
(The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, p. 34)
How have books helped you? Leave your favorite book quotes in the comments below.