Holland & Usry August 2019

Why a Love of Reading Serves You Well THE PLEASURES OF THE PAGE

“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”

–Benjamin Franklin

When you think back to your childhood summers, I’m willing to bet you recall the age-old pastime known as summer reading. For some of you, those memories will be of homework that kept you from having as much fun as possible. For others, they’ll be fond recollections of days spent exploring worlds far from their own. I certainly fall into the latter category. Summer reading was a great way to get out of the heat for a day, develop a vital skill, and learn about the world and myself. In fact, I sometimes wish that everyone had summer reading assignments. As someone who majored in English, my love of reading has only grown stronger over the course of my life. Reading keeps your mind sharp, keeps you entertained, broadens your horizons, and is a heck of a lot of fun. Whether you loved or loathed the days of summer reading, I hope you’ve found things you love to read as an adult. Whether for business development, personal growth, or simple pleasure, there’s very little that beats the value of a good book. You don’t need to pick anything particularly elevated or fancy to get the benefits of reading. “Moby-Dick” isn’t for everybody, and that’s just fine. What matters most is finding material that is well- written and enjoyable to you. If you’re into sports, for example, there is no shortage of excellent sports writing on the internet, in newspapers, and in books. I can promise that the discourse you find from these sources will be a lot more thoughtful and interesting than the screaming you hear on sports radio.

It’s hard for me to overstate how influential reading has been in my life. Of course, it’s incredibly beneficial for a lawyer to be a critical and inquisitive reader — they call it the letter of the law, after all — but books have given me so much more than that. Books have shown me corners of the world I’d never otherwise see, taught me about countless topics, and allowed me to grow and reflect. And the value in my life of reading Scripture is too enormous for words. Reading and its importance is a big, deep subject, one which I hope I’ve done justice to here. No matter how technologically advanced our society becomes, it’s impossible to imagine a future where the written word will be replaced. As such, learning to love reading is a skill that’s perfectly futureproof. No matter what you want to do in life, being a dedicated and passionate reader will help you with it. It may have been decades since you last stepped foot in a classroom, but I hope you’ll find a reason to do some summer reading of your own this year. The next time you need to beat the heat, consider doing it with a good book or a long article. I promise you won’t regret it. –Rob Usry

You don’t need to pick anything particularly elevated or fancy to get the benefits of reading. “Moby-Dick” isn’t for everybody, and that’s just fine.


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