Re-discovering the pleasure of reading books (it’s actually worth it!)

I feel like writing again, even though I haven’t planned to do any this night. Well, it’s better to go with the flow and use this moment to actually write something of good quality. Because here is the thing: words don’t always come so freely to me. Either my mind is in this state when I can write sentence after sentence without getting distracted, or I have the energy and motivation of a dung beetle who really let himself go.

And now I find myself again on my couch, starting to feel tired and sleepy, but I feel that my brain actually needs this form of exercise – just before I give it some rest. I have to admit though that there is some excitement going on as well about the future. Work has been going on quite well recently, I will be changing the environment in a few months (and by that I mean going to a different country and exploring new cultures and people), and there might be an opportunity to start some sort of business soon… not bad, considering my inclination to start new things, profit, and most of all, have fun during the course of the venture. We will see how this goes…

In the meantime I have to figure out a way to find some time to spend on reading two books I just got hold of today. One of them I had in mind for quite some time and was just reminded of it today – Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy and Counselor by Ted Sorensen. Two books written by two of the most influential people of the past century who I have admired for quite some time, but because I was focusing on other things I kind of ignored. But I’ll have no more of that. However, I have to admit that if it wasn’t for my friend’s reminder and the unfortunate death of Ted Sorensen, I will still probably be wondering what kind of book to start reading soon.

Briefly, I can tell you a bit about the two books. The first one by Ogilvy is considered as a compulsory read for everyone who is or wants to become part of the advertising business. The book is basically a comprehensive guide of what life as an advertising professional is and how to operate within the field. I am curious, actually, if the content is still relevant for the world we live in today. The second book, by Ted Sorensen, is an autobiography of the great man who is most famous for his work as a speechwriter for President John F. Kennedy, but also as one of the most influential people within the White House during Kennedy’s presidency. Hopefully, I will be able to get a clearer picture of what it takes to get to the same level of speechwriting and storytelling.

I have recently re-discovered the magic of reading on a regular basis. When I was growing up reading books was something quite common for everyone and I remember spending hours and hours with a book instead of writing my homework for school and at some point I was even secretly reading in class (that probably added much more value to my development than actually listening to a boring teacher and lecture, respectively). And then, for a few years, I forgot the pleasure of reading a book that you get when you finish a good and well-written piece. Not that I stopped reading books at all – I was reading textbooks and one or two of my favourites, but I was not expanding my view and looking for new and interesting literature. Fortunately, this year with some help from a friend of mine (and some interest from my side, of course) I started reading regularly again. And now I can really appreciate a good book. It is also quite easy nowadays to find a good work and skip all the crap that is regularly published by authors who have no idea about writing. Mostly because of technology. For example, you can quickly go on sites like Amazon and check which are the hottest titles, which are the highest rated books, read readers’ reviews about a certain book and actually make a good choice and don’t regret that you spent the money and the time on a worthless piece of garbage. And let’s not even mention the capabilities of various social media services that can really help anyone who is looking for a good and quality read. Oh yes…and all the gadgets out there that let you take your whole digital library with you wherever you go…

Of course, there are plenty of people who don’t stop to read at all, but they just read publications or articles on the internet. These are a great tool to keep an updated view on what is going on around the world and in a certain professional field. However, there is always the great risk of stumbling upon some ridiculous “author” who has no idea what he or she is talking about. And let’s face it – the best works and those that actually matter are always singled out and put inside a book. So you can keep it all together at one place…

I think I should wrap it up here. It is already quite late and I definitely need my eight hours of sleep a day if I want to be my truly productive and energetic self… because in the next few days I really need to be at my best… What is only left now is to choose a nice song to accompany this post while you are reading it and post the whole thing online. I have to say I am quite impressed by the views the site is generating already. Hopefully, in the near future I will be able to come up with an even better use for this blog and decide on some kind of topic I can express my thoughts on more in depth. Until then, I will be using this space for random thoughts and moments from my life – either real or fiction.

PS: There was a really nice video about Ted Sorensen on the New York Times website today. Here is the link to the 22-minute video: The Last Word: Theodore C. Sorensen Check it out!

01/11/10

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