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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

The Joy of Reading

English is a composite language that has coopted words from other languages from day one. The process is ongoing as words from other dialects become part of the English lexicon. Tsunami, a Japanese word now a permanent fixture in any English dictionary, is a good example.

Another Japanese word taking root in English soil is tsundoku. It literally means reading pile, and is used to describe acquiring books but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them. If you have books (one or a hundred) lying around that you have never read (and perhaps have no intention of reading), you are practicing tsundoku.

I am a bibliophile, which is a twenty-five dollar word for bookworm. If I had a buck for every word I’ve read since beginning with the Hardy Boys series back in the 50s I’d be a multi-millionaire. I’m generally reading two, maybe three, books at a time. I suffer withdrawal symptoms if I have finished one book and have not yet started another. A book is with me virtually everywhere I go, which means there is no “wasted” time if stuck in traffic, if in a doc’s waiting room, if in the boarding area for a flight, etc. Eating alone – i.e. with no conversation companion – with no reading material is inconceivable to me.

There you have it. Confession of a bibliophile.

There is a whole, big, wide world to explore in books . . . both the outer and inner worlds. There are things one can experience and learn via books that would be impossible without them. Self-awareness and improvement are also often produced. The joy of reading can be a break from the hum-drum world that might at times tempt one to feel blue. In short, reading is, at least for me, life-giving.

People obviously have different interests and tastes, but there are books for all of them. One can purchase books . . . or there is a free treasure trove of them in almost every community: they are called libraries.

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