The New York Times Book Review is one of the first things I pull out on Sunday morning. Two mornings ago, I was perusing the section and I began to think about the actual act of reading. Yes, we read to get information, to make us think, for enjoyment, for consolation, education and probably many more reasons, but there’s one thing that I really, truly love about reading itself.
In 2015, we are so bombarded with information that, even without realizing it, our brain screens—through some kind of filtering process scientists undoubtedly can describe—what to focus our attention on.
The thing about reading a book, especially a compelling one, is that we give that act of reading 100% of our attention, energy and focus. You can’t talk or text when you’re really reading. When I’m reading, I’m unaware of turning the pages or of the passage of time. How many other things in life take up our focus like reading a book? It’s our brain’s commitment to that act, that sole reading and comprehension of words—without awareness of the sound of rain, the hum of the refrigerator, the footsteps of someone else in the house—that to me is completely magical. It’s the place you go without need of another person, place or thing. Just you and the words. That’s all it takes.