The Power of Reading (Neil Gaiman)

Just picked up a link to Neil Gaiman’s Reading Agency lecture 2013. Fantastic talk on the power and importance of reading. Covers a wide range of topics from imagination, children, China, Apple, invention, pleasure, prisons, ebooks, libraries, empathy, truth, obligations, day dreaming, the future and the dead! Listening to this I repeatedly found myself declaring ‘Yes!’ out loud, even though I’m sitting at home in front of a computer screen on my own.

The power of sharing stories and learning about and expanding our understanding of ourselves, our world and our God through them is something I’ve become increasingly convinced about. We can accumulate so much information, be given so many rules and guidelines, but only stories, spoken, read or sung, take in not just our brains, but the hard-wiring of our being, changing who we are and our capacity to embrace and appreciate our surroundings. To me it is no wonder that Jesus spent so much time telling tales and so little time giving lectures.

Like Gaiman, I spent much of my childhood in libraries with my head in a book, and upon returning from them, my head would remain in a book until all the books were read (fairly soon after) and I went back for more. They are far from being stuffy places (although some could do with a does of fresh air). They are amongst the most subversive, revolutionary, life changing and liberating places I know.

Anyway, enough of my waffle, go listen to what the man himself has to say…

Love the quote about Einstein and fairy tales – still reading them to myself today in the hope that it might just work in the end!

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