Read. It's one word that holds so much potential in so many ways. It's a word that conveys completely different reactions from different people. It's one of the few words that's the same as both present and past tense. Some might see this word and view it as a command, others might see it and view it as a reminder.
Over the last few months while I've been doing craft fairs and farmers markets, I've had an opportunity to get to know the market out there and I've heard many different opinions on reading. I've heard many people tell me that they love to read but don't have the time. Some have told me that they read a lot at work and that's enough for them. I've heard from others yet that have told me they hate reading altogether. And then I find the few that love reading and make time for that kind of enjoyment in their lives.
I've spoken of my love of reading many times in the past and during those first few markets I had a hard time understanding people when they told me that reading was well down on their list of priorities. Sometimes I wanted to respond that they didn't know what they were missing, but most of the time I tried to find out why. The people that didn't like reading at all could never really pinpoint a specific reason that caused this reaction. They often just shrugged their shoulders when I asked what they didn't like about reading. I sometimes heard responses like "I've never been a reader." or "No one in my family really reads." and sometimes a golden gem like this comes out: "I never did well in this in school." And for many, I have to wonder if that's where the problems started.
For those that read a lot at work, I try to find out what kind of reading they do. They often tell me they read manuals, emails, announcements, instructions, etc. While definitely necessary, I can understand why these people take a dim view of the whole idea of reading - none of that really inspires or entertains. I try showing them that a well written book can put pictures in their heads and they have total control over what that picture looks like. For example: the dragons that I envisioned in George R. R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" turned out to not look like what the HBO series came up with. Both are OK.
I truly do empathize with those that don't have time to read. They have family commitments and work commitments and are pulled in several different directions at once. To them, reading is one more thing on their to do list that they don't want. Many are parents who tell me that they ensure their children read and are always on the lookout for good children's books, but for them reading is a luxury that they can't afford when there are so many other things that require their attention. With all this going on and then we throw in the ever watchful social media it's really hard to find down time. Going from activity to activity to activity is a great way to start burning out.
Gary and I are regular watchers of HGTV's House Hunters International. Many people that move to another country - when it isn't for work - are looking for that elusive down time and a place to decompress when they do burn out. I believe that a person can learn to decompress anywhere and that moving to a Caribbean Island isn't the only way to make relaxation happen (although there's a good chance that the Caribbean Island will have far better weather).
My goal is to inspire people to read for fun. Reading can be fun. Reading can be an escape. Reading can be your down time. I was inspired this past spring to create 5 different sayings that I believe emphasize the many benefits of reading - but reading isn't limited to these 5 benefits.
Read and Create. Read and Grow. Read and Imagine. Read and Learn. Read and Think.
Each one of these phrases will mean something different to every person. There is no right or wrong in what you think of when you see these phrases. It's like reading a story - you can interpret the story any way you want and it's not wrong.
I'd love to hear what you think of when you see these phrases and below are the posters that I've come up with. I took the pictures myself! If you are interested in purchasing any of them, just click on the "Buy Now" button.
I'd also love to hear how you would inspire others to read? What inspires you to read?
Take care and happy reading!
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