“From the moment I start a new novel, life’s just one endless torture. The ﬁrst few chapters may go fairly well and I may feel there’s still chance to prove my worth, but that feeling soon disappears and every day I feel less and less satisfied. I begin to say the book’s no good, far inferior to my earlier ones, until I’ve wrung torture out of every page, every sentence, every word, and the very commas and full stops look excruciatingly ugly. Then, when it’s ﬁnished, when it’s ﬁnished, what a relief! Not the blissful delight of a man who goes into ectasies over his own production, but the resentful relief of a delivery man dropping a burden that’s nearly broken his back. Then it starts all over again, and it’ll go on starting all over again till it grinds the life out of me, and I shall end my days furious with myself for lacking talent, for not leaving behind a more ﬁnished work, a bigger pile of books, and lie on my death-bed ﬁlled with awful doubts about the task I’ve done, wondering whether it was as it ought to have been, whether I ought not to have done this or that, expressing with my last dying breath the wish that I might do it all over again!”
Emile Zola, The Masterpiece
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“Understanding stories is similar to the way we understand the real world. “When people read stories we invoke personal experiences. We’re relying not just on words on a page, but also our own past experiences. … We often have thoughts and emotions that are consistent with what’s going on in a story.”
According to research, “social outcomes that could come out of being exposed to narrative fiction can include exposure to social content, reflecting on past social interactions, or imagining future interactions.” “We may gain insight into things that have happened in the past that relates to a character in a story, and resonates with our experiences.”
“Even though fiction is fabricated, it can communicate truths about human psychology and relationships.”
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“It should be noted that while one’s willingness to read is important, forging a reading-friendly environment is also crucial. From this viewpoint, efforts should be strengthened to build more libraries across the country ― hopefully to put every resident within walking distance of the facilities ― and to organize various events and programs aimed at establishing a strong reading culture. It may also serve this purpose to offer tax deductions on book purchases or provide book vouchers for low-income families, who put aside much less to spend on books.”
The “President [...] has advocated cultural prosperity as one of her key policy goals. Encouraging people to read more books will be the foundation for achieving it and building a society in which all people feel happy and find meaning in their lives.”
“A new study by the UK’s Department for Culture Media and Sport shows that people can be just as happy going to the library as getting a £1,359 ($2,282) pay rise. The study, which examined the way in which our cultural engagement can affect overall wellbeing, found that frequent trips to the library gave us a similar feeling of wellbeing to things like the prospect of a pay rise, dancing, swimming and going to theater shows.
It’s unclear whether happy people go to the library or whether the library actually makes people happy. Either way though, it seems the library is where the happy people are at. Given that the UK, like the U.S., has seen many of its libraries closed over the past few years, perhaps this research should prompt a rethink about the worth of our libraries.”
More ways books make our lives better:
“Reading books is a resourceful method to gaining indispensable knowledge that is crucial to promoting oneself in the world. Reading constantly supplies the brain with new information, such as vocabulary expansion and improved writing skills. The ability to be lucid and articulate is an advantage in any profession, and those skills will effectually enhance your writing abilities.”
“Reading has a positive connotation associated with it and is also inherently seen at a higher, more intelligent level than watching television, playing video games and engaging in other forms of technology.”
“The Harvard Business Review found that those who read often demonstrated high verbal intelligence, innovation and were more likely to be leaders. Furthermore, studies show reading makes people more effective communicators and fosters more empathy.”
“Reading can also make you more effective in leading others. Reading increases verbal intelligence), making a leader a more articulate communicator. Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others.”
“With not one person to find refuge, I took shelter in books. Reading takes you away from harsh reality and transports you to a better universe — a universe that makes you forget about your own problems and care only for the characters the author created.
Reading makes you realize that you aren’t the only person with a lot on their plate. Reading makes you feel like you’re not alone. Like you’re not alien.
Reading lets you know that the world isn’t so harsh. People who live in this sometimes-cruel-yet-beautiful world crafted those stories and made their own worlds into heavens.
Reading is a gift. A present. A token of love from the heavens above
Reading is a teacher, better than any teacher across this giant, unknown world.
Reading teaches you lessons about love, life, friendship, death, fear, society, anything. Reading and the universes inside those books teach you the morals you swear to live by.”
More from: touch.mcall.com/#story/mc-books-national-library-week-johnson-ithink-0404-20140403/
“I’m never going to live on the moon, I’m never going to be flying. I’m not going to be a dragon, and yet when I’m reading I explore those lives of other people and do these things in my mind and be exposed to other people’s ideas a lot more than any other medium.”
“I think everyone should grow up reading books … Stories and books, they kind of normalize what being human is.”
“Reading exposes one to different points of view and enriches life”
“I think reading makes me a better kind of person, because when you watch TV, you see what people do … When you read, you know why people do it.”
A must for readers and writers of thrillers:
“A group of researchers at the Center for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University in the U.K. has recently analyzed newspaper articles, court records, and a series of “off-the-record” interviews with informants “who have, or who had, direct knowledge of contract killings” in order to construct what they term a “typology” of British hitmen.” …
“The main thrust of the paper, which will be published in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, is that hitmen do not operate with the drama, professionalism, or glamour that mob films and spy novels afford them. In actuality, the majority of killers select jejune settings for their crimes, have occasionally bumbling performances, and are often hired by contractors with lame motivations.”
“Here’s the profile of an average British hitman, who seems more confined by the boxy restraints of reality than the undulating arcs of fiction:”
“He kills on the cheap. The average asking price was £15,180. It was £100,000 at the highest level, and a teenager was shafted with £200 at the low end.” …
“The weapon of choice was a firearm.” …
“Most of the killers were working on first-time contracts, meaning there weren’t many long-distance snipers taking shots from towers.” …
READ MORE: http://www.psmag.com/navigation/politics-and-law/how-hitmen-operate-73430/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+miller-mccune%2Fmain_feed+%28Pacific+Standard+-+Main+Feed%29
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Tagged Assassination, Books, Death, Fiction, hitmen, Life, Murder, murderers, Psychology, Reading, Science, Writing
“Ten reasons why reading good books is a key to success
* Reading good books has the side effect of inducing feelings of optimism, peace of mind and desire.
* Self-help books and success literature encourage you to focus your viewpoint on the future and not dwell in the past.
* When you read personal development books you get inspired and want to set new goals for yourself.
* Reading about success and successful people gives you something to aspire to.
* The stories and lessons found in many books provide hope that there is always something better waiting in your future.
* Some books will encourage you to imagine and picture what you want for your career and your life.
* Good books open your mind to new ideas and ways of looking at things.
* Books can teach you how to relate to and lead others in more positive and productive ways.
* Reading can increase your value to your employer and your profession.
* Books will open more doors to opportunity, growth and success in all areas of your life.”
“Love of reading is the key not only to further learning and knowledge, but also to a better and more fulfilled life with unlimited enjoyment and participation in the arts and culture.”
“We cannot begin to understand the world without reading books, newspapers and magazines. Reading teaches empathy in a way that the computer games which many [...] children play never can.”
“Earlier this year the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a rich countries’ think-tank, revealed that the strongest indicator of the future success of children was not which school they attended or whether their family was wealthy, but if they read for pleasure at the age of 15. Reading teaches children how to express themselves, to broaden their emotional horizons and to cope with difficult situations. It is not just about learning and widening their vocabulary and experiences, but also about understanding the human condition and the lives of others.”
Furthermore, “our skills, intelligence, the way we behave as citizens and the ability to think critically depend on reading”.