Flex that muscle
What is it about reading that’s so special? How is it different than other sources of entertainment? What benefit does it have for us?
Well, let’s start with what reading does for us in the physical sense. And it’s more powerful than you think. Reading a novel can trigger lasting changes in the brain. Your brain is a “wet computer” for lack of a better word. It exhibits what scientists call, “neuroplasticity”. This means your wet computer is malleable. It can change. It can adapt.
So, how does reading fit in? Well, the specifics of the science in what a story does to your brain is still heavily debated and mostly unknown. But if you were to ask me what my opinion is, as an avid reader and author, I’d tell you that reading a story makes the reader a part of it. Unlike television, reading makes you work. Do you know why? Because as an author, I can only provide you with so many details. There are infinite variables in trying to describe anything. From a hydrogen atom, to a complex story with multiple characters. So, a book coaxes the reader’s brain to fill the in gaps. Which in reality, is most of the book! You are creating the story more than I am.
So, a reader sees the story through their lens. Through their experiences. And their brain does the imagining. It does the heavy lifting. And in reality, imagination is a muscle. You can flex it like any other. It needs its workout. Don’t let it get lazy.
So ,what? What good is this “imagination muscle?” This muscle is responsible for everything! Before the pyramids were built, they were imagined. Before the Mona Lisa was painted, it was imagined. Imagination is implied in everything. It’s unavoidable. This muscle is what will get you that new promotion for thinking “outside the box.” This muscle will give you that new business idea that you just know is needed. And it can even be as simple giving you clarity of mind in how you see the present moment.
Let’s get that imagination fired up. Cozy up with a cup of coffee or your favorite wine and find yourself lost in some story. Down a rabbit hole so deep you think it’s really happening.
PS- if you need a good place to start, I have a few books for sale here. ;)