Credit for this Thankful freebie blogging idea goes to Rain City Reads who blogged about it in 2019. It was a great idea for a post, and I’m grateful to use it today.
I will be mentioning the Covid-19 pandemic briefly in this post.
1) Meeting Likeminded Folks
Life can feel isolating and lonesome sometimes. There is nothing like getting to know a character, author, or fellow reader who shares your identity, or your diagnosis, or any other number of labels and realizing that you are not alone. Other people have been through X, too, understand even the parts of it that can be difficult to explain to those who haven’t had those same experiences.
2) Answering Common Questions about Group X
I’m the sort of person who is shy about asking people questions about the differences between us because I don’t want to be the tenth person to ask them that question this week or to make them feel uncomfortable. I’d much rather read a variety of perspectives about that topic so that I’ll at least have a framework of what is and isn’t appropriate to ask someone who may be from a completely different religion or culture (or what have you) than mine.
3) Providing an Education
No one is ever too old or too young to learn new things. I think books are an excellent way to learn about so many different topics, from dark matter to math to the stories that I never learned in history class. In 2020, I found comfort in reading about the 1918 Flu of all things. Seeing how people dealt with that pandemic helped me figure out some good coping skills for this one.
4) Making Me Laugh
I know I talk about my love of humorous books a lot here, but I’ll say it again. Humour is an important part of life, and I think there’s value in seeking it out as often as you reasonably can.
5) Distracting Readers
This is related to #4, but we all need distractions from the troubles of this world after we’ve done what we can to reduce suffering and push things in a fairer and more peaceful direction. Reading something spectacular is one of the tools in my toolbox when I need to rest.
6) Showing a Better Future
Not to sound like a Pollyanna, but I think there’s something to be said for dreaming of the way things could be changed for the better in the future. People need hope, and stories can be a wonderful place to replenish that feeling if we read the right sorts of books.
7) Meeting Folks Who Are Nothing Like Me
Whether they’re found in biographies or fiction, I think there’s a lot of merit to purposefully seeking out stories about people who might appear to have nothing in common with you at all at first glance. You can learn all sorts of interesting and useful things about them if you quietly listen to what they have to say.
8) Finding Good Quotes
I have not always been that reliable at writing down meaningful quotes from books, but I’m striving to be better at it. Quotes come in handy for all sorts of things, from reminding you about key moments in a story to providing motivation in difficult times and more.
9) Having Something Interesting to Talk About
This pandemic has made every day bleed into the last for me because of how repetitive so much of it has been as I dodged germs and avoided in-person socialization for most of it. There are only so many conversations I can have about the weather before I feel the urge to talk about something else, and books are a great place to start if the other person is at all bookish or interested in fiction.
10) Enjoying Some Non Screen Time
No, I’m not going to be putting down television, smart phones, or the film industry here. I think it’s silly to pit them against books as if one is better than the others.
Sometimes I watch TV or films. I surf the Internet a lot, too. At other times, reading appeals to me more. I’m grateful for all of these forms of entertainment and how they’ve gotten us all through the past few years.