the power of reading

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Living in Los Angeles can be challenging. Like most cities, it is hard to find your ideal neighborhood and even harder to afford living there when you do. It's hard to navigate at first and adapt to the ever changing trends.  Plus the average commute can sometimes be overbearing. However, with challenges comes opportunities, and that is the reason Chris and I moved here. As a matter of fact, the reason why we have always lived in big cities.

My commute to work isn't as bad as it could be, but no one likes sitting in traffic even if it is for only 30 minutes. After memorizing all songs that the radio had to offer, I came to the conclusion that I needed more. A lot more! That is when I got totally hooked on podcasts. Seriously, they are great!
I am currently listening to. Strangers and Reading Lives and today I wanted to talk about Reading Lives. Not because it's my favorite of the two. They are actually completely different and I enjoy them in different ways. But, because I came across this quote the other day, and it made me think about the podcast, and consequently my relationship with books.

Reading Lives is an interview podcast with interesting people about how books and stories has changed them personally and professionally. How it made their life choices different, and how it has molded them into who they are. After listening to a few interviews I started thinking of my own story, and saw myself asking the same questions. Have I always been as interested in reading as I am now? When was it that I figured that out? What made me like literature so much?

The first vivid memory I have of reading goes back to the age of 6. This was when my family moved to England for my dad's PHD and I was first exposed to the English language (I'm originally from Brazil if you haven't been following for long.) When I look back, curiosity was what drove my interest in books. The challenge of learning a new language with different set of structural rules composing clauses, phrases and storytelling! Ah, storytelling. That was what made me stay longer. After the curiosity died down and English was no longer a foreign language, I started noticing I was addicted to good storytelling.

After long years of reading, writing and immersing myself in books, I decided that the only thing that I was inclined to ever love was literature. So, off I went to college to pursue it as a degree. College went as it usually should for any young adult. There was euphoria at first, stressful "will never be able to memorize all these Greek goddess" moments, and then there was change. Literature no longer made sense to me. Not as a profession at least. But the books; they remained. And they will always remain. They helped me shape the person I am, how I see the world, and how I write. Thanks to all the authors I read throughout my life, I can make a living writing - even if it is online marketing. I create content, thanks to the stories that I read. I crave that perfectly worded paragraph, and the feeling of getting blown away by good, subtle writing.

Sure, sometimes I regret changing major in school and how I crave dissecting stories alongside cultural and historical facts. However, that will always be a part of me. It will always be present in the way I read and write. It made me a better reader and I will forever be grateful for all the books that I have held in my hands, and all the stories that remain in my heart.

Now, on to you! Do you love reading? What's your first memory of holding a book? How did it effect your life - if it ever did?



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