Here’s our 4th post from our celebrity guest blogger: actress Sara Canning! You may recognize Sara from TV shows like Global TV’s Remedy and The Vampire Diaries. Over the next couple months, Sara is going to share her love of reading, and posts about her favourite books here on the Savvy Reader. Read her first post here.
In my past posts for Savvy Reader, I divulged countless reasons why reading is such a huge part of my life (and I thank you for indulging said divulgences.) But I’m in pursuit, dear word lovers, of finding what connects me to other readers. I want to unearth what the act of reading satisfies in your life. And yours, and yours! So with this post I ask the question: Why is reading vital to us? What is the addictive pull to that book you have to sneak moments with at work? What’s happening in that compartment of the brain that growls loudly until we feed it with words? And is there a trend as to which direction we’re evolving as readers? I may sound like I’m about to drop a thesis or dissertation on you, but when it comes down to it I’m just deeply curious about why and what people choose to read. While pondering our collective consciousness as readers, I reached out to some artists and entrepreneurs in my life and asked them to tell me a little about why they read.
The enthusiastic responses to my question of “why is reading vital to what you do?” were a sight for these book loving, thesis-seeking eyes. A striking similarity in the thoughts passed along to me is that reading offers every individual a truly unique translation of the material. A production coordinator at a publishing firm described this imaginative freedom as crucial and empowering. Another friend credits reading with encouraging her mind to run wild, an explorative liberation that’s continued into adulthood and led her to write music and scripts.
A fellow actor loves the immersion a book provides her. She likens reading to learning a new language, and admits that if she doesn’t actively make time for it, she almost forgets how to dive into a story – much like a learned language slips from memory without practice. Actors are forever working with new languages – new forms of communication – and reading is a sure fire way to expose ourselves to them.
A beautiful piece of insight came from someone I work with and admire – she reads to understand perspectives and opinions unlike her own, to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. She reads to transport herself to times and situations she doesn’t get to experience firsthand. My teacher, who from day one instilled in my classmates and me that reading is essential to script analysis, confided that reading helps him see the rest of us more clearly. Reading, he says, “ties up loose ends in my consciousness and stirs up trouble in my unconscious.” Is there a more intriguing proposition for reading everything we can?
Ultimately, my years of working in a creative field have led to the discovery that many of my artistic peers rely as much on reading as I do. We read for all sorts of reasons and motivations, but we all thrive on the book piles beside our beds. Books act as a guide for our interpretations and portrayals of humanity. This simple act connects us in endless ways, without us even needing to acknowledge it. A secret, electrifying handshake. How does reading influence your work, your goals, your relationships?
Sara’s Pick of the Month:
The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley
This is a beautiful novel. It’s a love story that passes back and forth through generations and character perspectives, creating intrigue and the desire to know more about all realms of the story, past and present. My favourite, though, is how the narrative stokes the fire of what it is to be an artist. There’s a thread of aspiration throughout the story to capture people and moments, to be brave and truthful in doing so, and what one must balance or sacrifice in order to truly pursue one’s art.