Me and the receptionist that used to work at the office went through a phase where we liked to post funny pictures on each other’s computer screens in the morning before the other person came in (…oh the exciting things that happen at the office ;)). One morning she posted this on my computer and it made me laugh because it wasn’t so much funny as it was true. Well, at least 85% true… 🙂
Growing up we never had a tv in our home (at least not one that would last more than a month before my parents helped it find its way into the garbage). My dad was also strict when it came to playing any kind of video or computer games so when it came to free time (which kids have a lot of) I developed a hobby that not only kept me busy then but became something I love to do to this day… reading.
I think it was in the 4th grade that I first realized I was a bookworm compared to all my buddies in class. My teacher’s name was Dorothy and she had a money system with bills called “dorothy dollars”. One way to earn them was to turn in book reports for books we read. Somehow within just a few months when most of the kids had just a few hundred dorothy dollars, I already had a thousand. If only this was how the system worked in real life, I’d be a millionaire by now. 😉 Once I got to middle school the reading system changed to receiving AR (accelerated reader) points for the books that we read. Most students read the minimum they could to take tests on for a passing grade. Not me. I read so much that I always ended up being one of the top 5 students with AR points in my grade. Eventually I decided that I was tired of seeing my name on the wall at the library and the monthly pizza parties for top readers was just not my thing so I stopped taking those AR tests, but never reading of course. I remember those years in school. I always felt so behind in what was happening in the media. I never watched a show of Spongebob, never knew what One Tree Hill or 7th Heaven was about, and definitely had no idea about all the cool new video games that people were crazy about. But even though I wasn’t so in tune to that world, I don’t ever feel like I missed out in any part of it. And I’m so grateful that the tv remained in the garbage can, not our home.
It’s years later- I don’t get dorothy dollars anymore, don’t need to take AR tests for the books I read, don’t have hours of free time to kill, have access to all the tv shows or movies I could ever dream of watching – but reading is still one of my favorite thing to do. And now I don’t read just to entertain myself- I read to grow as a person, to get encouraged in my walk with God, to learn a few new things that I may never have learned on my own. I don’t even mind reading a few hundred pages from my psychology textbooks for my college classes (although I might complain about it once in a while) because all those books I’ve read have helped me in life in one way or another.
From my point of view- I don’t think I want to learn every lesson in the world that I can personally- although those lessons teach us the most. Sometimes it’s good to learn from other people’s experiences instead because they’ve already been down that road and they may have valuable lessons to share and the only way you’ll learn those lessons, if not on your own…is through reading. Therefore, for me – reading is never a waste of time. Turning on a tv show may be much easier, but in the long run… not the most beneficial.
What inspired this post? I finally completed my tax return and am impatiently waiting for my lovely check to be deposited into my bank account. And the first thing I’m going to do when that happens?… Buy some of the books I’ve had on my wish list on e-bay for a long time…. And maybe I’ll even do some shopping while I wait for them. Reading isn’t the ONLY thing I like to do… 😉
“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it”