Seeing the world differently – the book effect

When I am really into a novel, I’m seeing the world differently during that time – not just for the hour or so in the day when I get to read. I’m actually walking around in a bit of a haze, spellbound by the book and looking at everything through a different prism.

Colin Firth

Well, I’ll admit I have been looking for an excuse to use this quote for a while. Who doesn’t want an excuse to have Colin Firth appear in their post – haha? The ultimate Mr Darcy in my humble opinion. Mixed with the intensity of being absorbed by a book – heaven. I’ve gone off track a little….

The Intensity of Reading a Good Book – Quote by Colin Firth

Anyway, whilst the above quote is banded about the internet quite a bit (why not, it’s a great quote promoting books) the follow-up quote is often forgotten or missed entirely, yet for me, it is actually far more interesting.

I’m paraphrasing terribly from a theory I came across years ago, but there was this idea that everyone leads a kind of secret life. All of these things are going on around us that we don’t process consciously but that stay with us. There’s a school of thought that inanimate objects can make you feel certain things and you don’t know why. You pick up a green mug and you drink coffee out of it and you’re not thinking about anything except whether the coffee is good or bad. About an hour later, you feel depressed and you don’t know why. Perhaps the mug is exactly the same color as your grandmother’s. You’re aware of the emotion but you didn’t know your subconscious went through a whole thing—remembered something, relived something, and fed it back to you.
So a book can pull out responses that would be dormant otherwise. I find that a very valuable thing to have as a possibility. I’m not simply responding to the author’s vision. The joy I take from a book is mine. It comes from me.

Colin Firth

What an amazing intriguing theory and I have been thinking about it all day (no not Colin, his quote, honest). I have favourite mugs, despite a cupboard full of beautiful cups, I do have a couple that are favourites for no particular reason.

Stepping away from mugs for the moment and going back to books, there are certainly books that I have read recently that have entranced me and left me questioning things afterwards. For example, I recently read Anti-social by Nick Pettigrew, which certainly increased my sympathy for those suffering from mental health and poverty and increased my awareness of those who supported them.

Only a few days after reading this book, I found myself in A&E for a seven hour-plus wait. In the waiting room appeared an elderly gentleman and a younger woman. Initially, they drew little attention, however after an hour or two the woman appeared frantic, guards were called, the police arrived. The man had disappeared, it turned out he had run off as he didn’t want his bloods taken. The young woman (who most would probably assume was a daughter) was in fact a caseworker assigned to him. Not only was she terrified that he had run off, she was also aware she would at some point be finishing her shift and wanted to know he was settled and okay before leaving. Upon the police finding the man and returning him, he wasn’t particularly helpful to the nurses, and continued to go to the male toilets repeatedly every 15 minutes, often staying in for large amounts of time, for no other reason than he knew she couldn’t go in there. I’m not saying without this book I wouldn’t have been sympathetic to the pair, but the book certainly increased my understanding of just how difficult a job that woman had to do and how lucky that man was she was there and genuinely seemed to care for him, I imagine with many others he would just be a case on a spreadsheet waiting to be closed off.

Mental health will always be a challenge, but I do think books like this that touch us, inspire us and live with us long after reading can really help remind us of our human capacity to care for others.  I truly hope the right people at the right levels of society can also read and be inspired by such books and influence a better brighter future.

What about you? Have you read any books lately that have completely absorbed you? If so, I’d love to hear about them.


Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

Take Care.

KL

Who will you discover? – A Poem.

I was pleased to meet Einstein and learn of his story
He started as a patents clerk, before finding his glory
He published his General Theory of Relativity
But it took a solar eclipse to remove the science communities negativity,

Next I found Curie, and her life’s situation
Poland limited females, with no access to higher education
Yet still she triumphed, graduating top of her class
Winning Two Nobel Prizes, Oh what a lass!

Then I met Tesla, what an interesting chap
Arrived in New York with just the clothes on his back
An alternating motor was his brilliant design
Despite Edison’s attempt to thwart this brilliant mind.

Benjamin Franklin ran away at just seventeen
With no formal education or financial means
His genius for business soon made him rich
Yet his passion for fellow man is what made him tick!

So how did I find all these geniuses indeed?
I went to the library and started to read.
Here you have access to the world’s greatest minds
Best of all, it won’t cost you a dime!


‘I hear people saying that football or rock ‘n’ roll is the escape for the working class. I was always thinking, ‘No, it’s not – the library is the escape.’ That’s where the tunnel is. You’ve access to the great brains of the world and it’s free.

– Sir Billy Connolly

Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.


Education can be one of life’s greatest gifts. Yet, we all learn by different ways and means and a standard exam cannot capture one’s intelligence, drive or brilliance. In fact, hands-on training can often be much more meaningful to an employer. I think there is a place for both in society. Equally, I love a success story, especially from an underdog and history has so many wonderful examples.

Take Care.

KL