This post is the eighteenth in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.
R is for Reading
Reading can be defined as "looking at and understanding the meaning of letters, words, symbols, etc. Reading is an activity that we do for pleasure, for entertainment, for education, for escape, for work, and for INSPIRATION. If you've been around me or my blog at all, you know that I am an avid reader. One of my very favorite past-times is Reading!
When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, I knew that one of the ways I wanted to find INSPIRATION was through Reading books on INSPIRATION and other topics where I was seeking INSPIRATION. For example, I recently read Lain Ehmann's new eBook FOUND: Rediscovering Your Dreams, Your Voice, and Your Life in 15 Minutes a Day as I contemplated my goals and dreams for 2016. It was a quick, easy read with suggestions and ideas for defining your life's mission and being authentic. (It was also a sales pitch for her coaching program.)
I also re-read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, which I first read many years ago.This is definitely not a quick, easy read, but it contains lots of great ideas and examples for living a principle-centered life that includes putting first things first and working toward win/win situations in all our relationships.
Another book I read for INSPIRATION was The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp. Earlier this year I enjoyed the author's first book, The Creative Habit, which I reviewed HERE and was full of INSPIRATION for making creativity a habit. I enjoyed this second book that shares ideas and examples of how to work well with others, whether it's another individual, a group of people, or a large organization. Once again I enjoyed a peek into the life of a choreographer and all that goes into putting together a dance production as well as the real life examples of successful collaborations.
My Reading list includes many books that I read simply for pleasure and entertainment. I've recently completed several more books toward my goal to re-read all my Children's/Young Adult books.
I'm continuing to enjoy the Trixie Belden mysteries and plan to finish those up in the next couple of months. Unfortunately, now that I'm into the books that were written by a variety of authors, the various character's traits and personalities are often not consistent. I've also started Reading through the Companion Library books in my collection. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is always a FUN read despite the fact (or maybe because of the fact) that Tom is so very mischievous. Queenie Peavy is a wonderful story of a young girl growing up in a tough situation.
My INSPIRATION for Reading A Yellow Raft in Blue Water came from Karen's comment and recommendation way back in 2013 after I read my first Michael Dorris book. (Yes, it's been on my to-read list that long!) Karen mentioned this was one of her favorite authors and favorite books, and it is definitely one of the favorites on my Reading list for this year.
This book tells the story of three women. It starts with Rayona's story (a fifteen-year-old who unexpectedly spends a month one summer running away and working at a camp after her mother abandons her to live with her grandmother), then backtracks to tell Christine's story. Christine is Rayona's mother, who at first seems to be somewhat unreliable and uncaring. The final section in the book backtracks once again to tell Ida's story. Ida is Christine's mother, who also appears uncaring when seen only through Rayona and Christine's stories. I loved the way this story was told and came to like all three women in the end, despite my initial feelings for them. Knowing what they had gone through and why they acted in certain ways made me much more forgiving and understanding.
This is truly a universal story of relationships, family secrets, misunderstandings carried for years, and love. While the women in this story are Indians, this story would ring true with other cultures and nationalities as well. I highly recommend Reading this book for pleasure and thought-provoking entertainment.
In addition to Reading books for pleasure and those based on recommendations from others, my INSPIRATION for Reading may come from preparation for an upcoming trip or event, the desire to learn and try something new, striving to accomplish a goal, or simply to interact and discuss books with others. I also enjoy Reading blogs and magazines.
In summary, Reading is a activity that can provide entertainment, education and INSPIRATION, and the INSPIRATION for Reading can come from a variety of sources.
What are you currently Reading? Please share your thoughts on Reading and INSPIRATION in the comments.
Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.