I was recently asked what I'm currently reading and why I think reading is important for a Utah newspaper. When I read what was printed, I thought, ouch. I was not misquoted in the slightest. That's precisely what I said. But it wasn't until I saw it printed out there that I realized how it sounds. So before I get upset emails, let me explain--I don't think that reading non-fiction and self-help will make you depressed. I don't think there's anything wrong with non-fiction or self-help. Right now I'm reading Shadow Divers, a fascinating non-fiction book about shipwreck explorers. What I meant is that only reading one kind of book is limiting. I do know people who only read self-help or only read non-fiction because they think that's what they're supposed to be reading, that that's what's good for them, and they are, in fact, depressed people. And I find that many adults think that you grow out of reading for fun and don't allow themselves to read entertaining fiction anymore. And I wanted to give them that permission, to say, It's okay to read fiction! It's okay to read for pure pleasure. It's as important for adults to exercise imagination, to be carried away in story, to get inside new characters and think like them, to let words turn into images in their minds, as it is for kids. So that's what I meant. But it's not what I said.
Truly, having experiences like this has made me so much more tolerant of mis-speaking politicians and celebrities. I get it why in public so many of them want to read from pre-written speeches for fear of saying something that won't come out right. Well, the "accidental" racial slurs are pretty hard to overlook, but the other stuff...I get it. Until the day we can all communicate telepathically with pure understanding rather than limited by language, I'm going to keep making a fool of myself.
And by the way, reading non-fiction and self-help will turn you into a non-functioning bag of human sadness. (Kidding! Kidding!)