“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install,
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
â€” Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I couldnâ€™t have said it better myself. Many days, I find my butt planted on the couch staring at the
TV screen with my laptop resting comfortably on my lap. Well, itâ€™s time to make a change: Drop
Everything And Read!
Today, April 12th, is D.E.A.R. Day (â€śDrop Everything And Readâ€ť Day)! Letâ€™s give ourselves a
challenge. Even if itâ€™s just for today, Iâ€™m challenging you, my friend, to turn off the TV or close
your laptop and read something…read anything. It could be a magazine, a newspaper, a
childrenâ€™s book, a cookbook, the Bible, or any printed publication of your choice (no cheating–
pick something offline)!
Admittedly, itâ€™s been a few weeks since I touched one of the many books calling my name, and it
may be a challenge finding the perfect thing to read. If youâ€™re like me and still unsure of what you
want to read right now, here are some tips on where to start.
A child at heart, in a bookstore one afternoon, I found myself drawn to the comic and cartoon
section. My eyes floated across the shelves and focused on a small, block-like red and green
book. I picked up Peanuts: A Treasury of Happiness and began flipping through the colorful
pages. The short sentences and simplistic drawings caught my eye while bringing a goofy grin to
Before I knew it, I was paying for the little book, and now every time I am in need of a pick-me-up,
I flip to a random page for an instant dose of happiness.
Cartoons and comic strips not your thing? What about a magazine? Whatâ€™s your passion? Do you
enjoy reading about fast cars? Model airplanes? Running? Shoes? Electronics? Fishing? Wildlife?
Wine? Head out and splurge. Hit your local pharmacy or newsstand and buy your favorite
magazine, then spend an hour with it.
You might not like to read the magazine front to back, every article from cover to cover. I tend to
skim through the whole magazine and then go back to read the articles that interested me most.
It doesnâ€™t matter how you read your favorite magazine, just read!
Another suggestion is to dive into something deeper. Try that novel thatâ€™s been collecting copious
amounts of dust on your bookshelf or nightstand. Iâ€™m not asking you to finish it today, or
tomorrow, or next week. Iâ€™m just asking that you pick it up and read the first chapter. You never
know, you might end up spending more than an hour escaping to another time or place. Fiction,
non-fiction, history, or biography, it doesnâ€™t matter what book you find your nose buried in, just as
long as you put it there.
Youâ€™ll find that reading is a great escape from today; plus youâ€™re expanding your vocabulary and
challenging yourself. Finding happiness within a challenge is a healthy form of learning. Even a
romance novel is a learning tool! Wherever your happy may be, hurry and find it in a book,
magazine, or newspaper.
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”
â€” Walt Disney
Itâ€™s time to find your treasure today, and maybe even tomorrow, because reading is a blessing
that takes us away from the present. And when we return, we return with a smile.