Focus PT - April/May 2020

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April/May 2020

To the Library! Why Don’t We Read More?

Book lovers, brace yourselves.

and from work. That said, I did recently pick up a hardcover book called “The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care — and How to Fix It” by Marty Makary, MD. It’s not what I normally read, but as someone who works in the medical field, I’ve seen firsthand how broken our health care system really is. So, I’m curious to read this surgeon’s insights on the topic and what changes he proposes to provide people the health care they need and want while still keeping businesses open. I can’t exactly read “The Price We Pay” while I’m driving, so I’ll need to make time to finish this book. Usually, I tell myself that I’m going to read a few pages every day. That doesn’t always happen, but on the weekends, I can find time to do some reading here and there. Whether it’s for entertainment or knowledge, it’s always good to keep our minds working with reading. There are tons of known benefits to reading. It stimulates the mind, expands our knowledge, and improves our focus. I’ll even read out loud from time to time because I’ve heard that reading out loud can help you become a better public speaker. As someone who needs to interact with patients all the time, good communication is important. Reading often also gives us the tools to communicate better through vocabulary. If I’m reading and I come across a word that I don’t know, I’ll make a point to look it up even if I can guess the meaning with context clues. It helps me learn more words to really get my point across. It can also help me win at Scrabble. We could all stand to read more. April 19–25 is National Library Week, so let’s celebrate with a trip to your local library! Bring the family, pick up something new to read, and give yourself permission to enjoy a good book this month. Just make sure not to write in them.

I write in books.

I know this might sound like sacrilege to some, but I really enjoy taking notes while I’m reading. I love having a real paper book in my hands so I can highlight passages or scribble in the margins. Sure, you can make notes with e-books, but there’s something about having a tactile connection with the material that makes reading so engaging for me. Of course, I would never dream of writing in a book someone loaned me or a library book. I learned from a young age to treat library books like the treasure they are. My local library did a program where kids could earn points for the number of books they read, and those points could be redeemed for prizes. I’ve always loved reading, so I racked up tons of points all the time. When I was young, my favorite books were westerns and outdoor adventures. As I got older, I really liked Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” and “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer. Today, I’m more likely to pick up business or self-help books. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey is a book everyone should read. “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... And Others Don’t” by James C. Collins is also a personal favorite that I highly recommend. Books have always been part of my life. When our kids were little, each Mother’s Day, my wife and I would read them “Love You Forever” or “I Love You to the Moon and Back.” This was always a lot of fun. Today a lot of extracurriculars take up my kids’ time, but I do encourage them to read more when they can. I guess I can’t blame them too much for not reading as often as I’d like them to. I barely have the time to sit down and read for fun. These days, most of my “reading” comes in the form of listening to audiobooks, usually from Audible.

–Julian Manrique

It’s not the same as holding a book in my hands, but thanks to audiobooks, I tend to get some “reading” in during commutes to

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