Jenny Wells: Why you, reader, are a hero | TheUnion.com

Jenny Wells: Why you, reader, are a hero

Jenny Wells
Columnist

Reading can be such a solitary way to spend our time, but when we spend hours with a good story, we commit a heroic act. Allow me to explain.

In a culture with so much noise, stories are one of the only things where no matter our age and stage, they capture our attention for hours. Whether it's a good book, the movies, or even YouTube videos made by your niece or nephew, all of us are creating and consuming stories each and every day. And you, lover of all things books and reading, play such an important role in our culture's love of stories.

Here are at least seven reasons why those of you who like to pick up a good book are heroes:

1. Readers understand a good story and are responsible for everyone writing good stories. Those who write stories have to be readers.

2. Readers care about future generations. Is there any simple impact we can make that is more important than sitting down with our children or grandchildren to read them a good book? Children of all ages delight in this gift. So much of what we care about and want to give them can keep their attention with a good story.

3. Readers infiltrate culture even when nonreaders go to the movies. So many of our favorite movies began with books. The Oscars award Best Adapted Screenplay every year. Movies like Gone with the Wind, Shawshank Redemption, and Crazy Rich Asians all began as books.

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4. Readers spend hours quieting their minds. A quiet mind is key to our humanity. A quiet mind helps us listen to one another and speak with kindness.

5. Readers learn. They spend time with ideas. They bring those ideas to their spheres of influence often for the greater good.

6. Readers are the teachers in our schools.

7. Readers become leaders. Reading is mandatory for literacy and still the bedrock of education. Even the digital age and generation have to read to understand.

I may operate a small bookstore in a relatively small town, but I would rather spend my days with you than with all the money and power of a large corporation. Thank you for supporting our local bookstores and reading. You provide so much for our culture and county. Today I hope you pat yourself on the back and spend some time with your next good read. I'm happy to help if you need any suggestions.

Jenny's Paper & Ink Books is located at 134 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley where the majority of the books are gently used paperbacks, including Bestsellers and New Releases. Choices at Paper & Ink include Romance, Westerns, Mysteries, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Suspense and Thrillers, Nonfiction, Classics, and Children's. Visit http://www.paperandinkbooks.com for more information.

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