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This room is for general discussion that doesn't specifically fit into one of the other CatholicMatch rooms. Topics should not be overly serious as this is to be more of a "cafe setting."

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May 18th 2013 new
(quote) Lauren-927923 said: Wow, beside the enjoyment, reading allows me to exercise my mind, to dream and conjure new places, to ponder a situation or person and what they will do. It helped me with vocabulary and writing and thinking. It is a true gift!
Hi Lauren,

Thanks for posting you view. Your words, "helped me with ... writing and thinking" reminded me about what famous American literary critic Harold Bloom (not to be confused with philosopher Allan Bloom mentioned in an earlier response) said in a youtube video. His claim was that without reading good and great books, people cannot write and they can barely think. scratchchin

John



May 18th 2013 new
(quote) David-870960 said: I can certainly add my vote the vocabulary aspect! I was well on my way - reading at 4. I launched into Mark Twain's books, then Grimm's, and eventually found myself immersed in Science Fiction which introduced me to a myriad of interests, and ultimately a very broad education. Interestingly, many of the best SciFi writers included references to classical literature such that I eventually concluded that I needed to round out my experience. That lead me to JD Salinger, Jane Austin, and books like Mutiny on the Bounty, and many more.
Now I read about our Catholic Faith, psychology, neuroscience ... I just can't get enough. And I still enjoy the thrill of a good fictional piece. One of the best reviews I ever saw said, "I envy you who have not yet read this book; you still get to read it for the first time!"

Ultimately, I often get asked, "How can you possibly know that?" Good fiction is full of fact and human experience. And for me, this just scratches the surface ... The privilege of reading is one of our human treasures!
Thanks for a well-written and well-rounded answer.
May 18th 2013 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said: Proved to me that I can write as well or better than many people who make a living at it.
True or not, I have heard that James Fenimore Cooper thought that he could write better than those who were known as authors in his day - and the rest is history. From what I understand, The Last Of the CMers has not yet been sent to the presses.
May 18th 2013 new
(quote) Rhonda-45054 said: It provides excitement, and creates emotion. It allows me to escape into another world, if only for the length of time I am reading, and experience other places and things I don't get to experience daily. It has allowed me to learn and grow. It has brought new people into my life that share the same interests as I do.
Thanks for relating what reading has done for you. Glad to hear of how it helped socially. Do you read often?
May 18th 2013 new
In addition to expanded vocabulary, fictional reading has expanded my world view and helped me think "outside the box".
May 18th 2013 new
Teen fictional literature is horrible these days. I work in a library I know. Every book now is about occult, magic, vampires, etc. I have seen some good Christian fiction, but all of the books they want us to order are usually liberal Christianity and the fiction described above....needless to say I haven't signed off on any of these books (they need 6 or 7 signatures and they ask us to read reviews of book list to determine which ones to order)
May 18th 2013 new
(quote) Jan-805954 said: In addition to expanded vocabulary, fictional reading has expanded my world view and helped me think "outside the box".
Hi Jan,

How has reading fiction helped you think outside the box?

John
May 18th 2013 new
(quote) Sam-948516 said: Teen fictional literature is horrible these days. I work in a library I know. Every book now is about occult, magic, vampires, etc. I have seen some good Christian fiction, but all of the books they want us to order are usually liberal Christianity and the fiction described above....needless to say I haven't signed off on any of these books (they need 6 or 7 signatures and they ask us to read reviews of book list to determine which ones to order)
Thanks for adding some new information, new at least to me. Hearing about the material that constitutes so much of literature for teens in libraries is troubling. Other members of Catholic Match might find it interesting if you were to write a topic about this issue.
May 18th 2013 new
(quote) John-184825 said: Ok. When you become more proficient in Polish, Konstanty Ildefons Galczynski will be waiting.
I'll keep it in mind...grad school's going to have some Polish classes waiting for me. Maybe he'll be one of my assignments!
May 19th 2013 new
As a young girl from the Central Valley of California, a very agricultural area, I didn't experience anything outside of California until I was married at age 19. I have always been an avid reader and I would spend weekends reading Gone With the Wind, Exodus, Jane Eyre, and many other classics. Those wonderful books transported me to another time, other cultures, other locations and other ways of thinking. Not everything had the values, morals, food, etc, that I had been raised with and led to believe there wasn't much else out there. I actually had been led to believe that anything outside California was dangerous and foreboding. By reading, I learned so much about the world, history, religions, and cultures and I began to think outside "my box of experience" that maybe there was something more for me to learn and see.
When my marriage failed, I immediately took a cruise to the West Indies, by myself. I met so many interesting people and visited some very different and interesting places. I snorkled for the first time, I sailed on a sail boat, I danced all night, and I even forgot that my recently divorced husband was marrying his girlfriend. John, trust me, this was totally out of the box for this farm girl from California!
It was during that trip that I decided to go back to school and get my Masters in Social Work and become a therapist. Those books set me on a path I could never have imagined.
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