Read books. Turn off the TV. Put down your phone. Pick up a book and read it. Read it before you go to bed. It stirs the imagination, boosts your vocabulary, clears your mind, teaches you things, and, most importantly, it’s much-needed you time. You’re reading yourself a story. It’s therapeutic. It helps you wind down. Trust me.
We got rid of cable television some number of years ago. I don’t remember — I want to say it’s been at least five years, and me, personally, I don’t miss it a single bit. Six plus years ago I started the habit of reading every single night before I go to bed. When it truly became a habit, I asked for a Kindle for Christmas. My kindle is dutifully at my nightstand and travels with me when I won’t be sleeping in my own bed.
Can’t think of a book to start with? Try Harry Potter. Seriously. It’s a wonderful, well-written series of stories that’ll turn reading into a habit for you. Then try re-reading those classics that you were forced to read in high school when you might’ve been too cool, or too busy to read back then. You’ll relate to them now. Then ask your friends for book recommendations. Ask me. I have great recommendations. When you talk about books with your friends and family, they’ll always have great recommendations for you because they know and love you. They have a pretty good idea of who you are and what your interests are, often times taking into account your moral compass and imagination. My mother-in-law always loans me really good books. And those are really special gifts because I know she thought of me and wanted to share something that I’d find of great value.
I’m reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to my oldest daughter right now. That book will make you realize how most of us have sadly dumbed down our personal prose and conversational vocabulary (or just don’t know any better). I like to alternate the kinds of books that I read. I’ll read a classic novel, and then I’ll read a “fun” novel. Right now I’m reading a “fun” Pet Semetery by Stephen King. I’ve always been a fan of horror.
Go to your local bookstore or library. Tell an employee you’d like a book recommendation. Be humble and divulge your interests. Get lost in the books section of Amazon.com. Fun fact: all of the classic novels are free on the Kindle.
Read books. Let your mind paint pictures. It’s better than Netflix doing it for you.