October 2nd marks World Reading Day, which as its title suggests, encourages people around the world to — you guessed it — read.
Storytelling is probably the oldest form of entertainment (arguments can be made for dance and music as well) and books have dominated storytelling over the last few centuries. You can read words written hundreds of years ago, hear stories about world thousands of miles away, and imagine life in a thousand years. Whether the words are written between brittle leather covers, freshly-printed paper, or on an electronic screen, reading doesn’t look like it’s going out of style anytime soon.
All writers should read, and I admit I should read more. Of course, I tend to read a lot of books at once. Right now, I am reading:
- If This Is a Man / The Truce by Primo Levi. This gripping non-fiction narrative about an Italian Jew’s experiences in a Nazi concentration camp was recommended by an Italian friend and is (believe it or not) highly enjoyable.
- Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by N. T. Wright. Some good thoughts on Christianity in today’s cynical world.
- The New Kings of Nonfiction edited by Ira Glass. Excellent narrative non-fiction by some of this century’s best writers.
- Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson. Re-reading one of my favorite travel novels.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. Re-reading via the excellent audiobook for the umpteenth time. Because great children’s writing is enjoyable for people of all ages.
- And, of course, re-reading my draft of Drinking Instant Coffee in Colombia. As I try to finalize a title, book cover, and get started on the mountain of edits to improve the prose.
So curl up with a blanket and tea, hole up in a coffee shop, or stretch out in your hammock, and enjoy a good book today.
What books are you reading today to celebration World Reading Day?