Stop, Drop and Read!


"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."

— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I couldn’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, it’s time to make a change: Drop

Everything And Read!

Today, April 12th, is D.E.A.R. Day (“Drop Everything And Read” Day)! Let’s give ourselves a

challenge. Even if it’s just for today, I’m challenging you, my friend, to turn off the TV or close

your laptop and read anything. It could be a magazine, a newspaper, a

children’s book, a cookbook, the Bible, or any printed publication of your choice (no cheating--

pick something offline)!

Admittedly, it’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 you’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

my face.

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? What’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 doesn’t matter how you read your favorite magazine, just read!

Another suggestion is to dive into something deeper. Try that novel that’s been collecting copious

amounts of dust on your bookshelf or nightstand. I’m not asking you to finish it today, or

tomorrow, or next week. I’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 doesn’t matter what book you find your nose buried in, just as

long as you put it there.

You’ll find that reading is a great escape from today; plus you’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."

— Walt Disney

It’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.

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