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Everyone has their own experiences with reading. Their own favorite books, and their own lessons learned. According to my Goodreads account, I've read 111 books since I started keeping track of my reading habits.
Here are a few lesson I've learned from those books:
1. Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the end of the Lane taught me to never judge a book by its cover. "Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don't. I don't. People are much more complicated than that. It's true of everybody." Understanding people is an ongoing process, not something anyone can make a snap judgment about.
2. I have learned the value of a good friend from Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? She says that, "One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about."
3. From the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera I have learned that I need to find myself in continual growth and practice. The idea that, "There is no perfection only life" is present throughout the book as the characters try and try at finding their perfect selves.
4. Christopher McDougall's Born to Run taught me that, "You don't have to be fast. But you'd better be fearless. When training for my first marathon I understood that whatever may come, I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
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5. Patience and slowing down are also something I've had to learn. Donna Tartt's The Secret History says that "It is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially." Tartt's writing style requires a patient mind and I've learned to slow down and really absorb the books I'm reading and the world around me.
6. From David Sedaris I learned that there is no real growing up. In Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls he says, "As a child I assumed that when I reached adulthood, I would have grown-up thoughts." But there is no magical stage when we all grow up. It happens slowly, it sneaks up on you, and the ways in which we do not grow up at all can take us by surprise.
7. Joan Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem taught me to never forget my roots, "We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were."Understanding where our present state developed form and how we became who we are is as important as moving toward the future.