Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reading changes lives

Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket
To the wonderful world of books.
~ Anonymous ~

I’ve been working in the Music Library for 2 weeks. And already I’ve been to Sweden, Germany, France and Italy while sitting behind my desk. I have experienced these countries’ cultures and music.

Grace Slick once said “Through literacy you can begin to see the universe. Through music you can reach anybody. Between the two there is you, unstoppable.”

I’ve had encounters with some of the greatest people to have ever walked this planet including Chopin, Mozart, and Bizet, to mention a few. Let me give you a scenario. So you are out with your friends, one of them asks with excitement “Oh my gosh, have you heard the new song by Andreas Vollenweider, it’s so beautiful!” Or maybe you are having a conversation with someone and suddenly they quote a certain author who said something very wise in his famous book.

The greatest feeling that one gets out of such situation is when once can “strike” back. You may not know who Vollenweider is but you can ask what kind of music he does and comment on that. In terms of a quote, you may not have heard of the author or the book, but you can always respond with something that you have read. This may be something that has never bothered you, because you may think “who cares if I don’t know this or I’ve never heard of that”. That’s just it – it is always your own choice to learn. It makes sense to introduce yourself to new adventures, new places, new people, new ideas, new music and new hobbies. And reading makes that very easy.

Reading may not always be sufficient to get you a promotion, but it will change your life. You might just get the inspiration you need to explore that business idea you’ve shelved for so long.

If this was a TV ad, this is the part where we would say, “and here comes the best part - you don’t have to pay a cent”. All it takes is a few minutes of your time, every day or two. A whole new world awaits you.

Let me end with another quote by Confucius: “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

by Ignatia Madelane, SABC Music Library

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