OFFBEAT: Free your brain with a book

It's impossible to truly understand the pure pleasure of reading, until you've really tried it. Please don't laugh, and try not to d
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

It's impossible to truly understand the pure pleasure of reading, until you've really tried it. Please don't laugh, and try not to disagree until you've heard me out.

Aren't you sick of paying outrageous prices for Direct TV, digital cable, digital video recorders and all those other sources of entirely visual entertainment. Do you miss the imagination that ran rampant when you were younger? What about the wild worlds you would make up and great kings and queens that were conquered or invited over for tea? Reading is a great way to exercise your imagination like you used to. Try thinking of each and every book in a library as a different channel on your TV. There's more to choose from than Direct TV and digital cable combined, and at basically no cost.

The trick to reading for your own enjoyment is to find something that's fits you. If you ask any hard-core reader out there, if they have a certain genre or style of book they prefer. You'll get an endless stream of their favorite authors and synopsis' of the latest masterpiece. Avid readers are also not inclined to read anything else. I'm into fiction and the last nonfiction book I read was Ron Jeremy's autobiography, because in all honestly, that's about as realistic as it gets for me. Also, you would never catch me in the self-help or political aisles in a book store. The point here is that those genres that I won't touch are someone else's bread and butter. The old saying, "If you had one, you've had them all," should never be applied to books. Each one is unique and will engage at least one reader's passion. Once you've found a match, you'll be hooked by the third chapter and you'll find it hard to put the book down.

Now I'm a reader, if you haven't figured it out. And in my time, I've seen many people start a book, only to get through the first couple chapters and lose interest. This happens to every reader, the mistake is to let your reading experience stop here. The most monumental thing happened recently, which prompted this harangue. My boyfriend finished a book for the first time since we've been dating. And now, he's almost done with a second book he started last week. It's non-fiction, about an ATF agent who goes undercover with biggest, baddest and most feared biker gangs in southern California. And before that it was a storm story about a deadly tornado, also non-fiction. These are the only two books I have seen him read in our more than two years together.

I firmly believe the reason I've finally seen my boyfriend finish a book is because he found something that captivated his mind and imagination. There's no clear explanation for it, because it's different for every reader. I can tell you that for me, reading is my escape. I lose myself in fictional characters, fanciful surroundings and fabled life experiences. There was a time back in the day when TV almost won me over. I caught myself staring at the tube a lot more than I ever used to. It had also been a while since I'd finished my last book. At this point, I realized that TV was much less fulfilling then reading. I'm here to tell you, lose yourself in the right book and TV becames background noise.

I urge any and everyone to turn off the TV and pick up a book. If you don't like the first one you try, go to your local library and look for something else. And if you don't find it that time, "try, try again." It is worth it. In today's technologically crazed world, you'd be amazed at the comfort, excitement, knowledge, humor, and creativity, etc., that you can find on the printed page.