Finding Love in the Pages

Its no secret that I love books. I think I like buying them as much as I like reading them. The thing is, sometimes I put them down and dont pick them back up. Thats how I got myself into my 2014 New Years resolution: to finish every book I own that I have started. Turns out there were exactly 12 of them. I am now halfway through that stack of books, and the pages just keep turning.

Since I embarked on this endeavor, I found something magical between the pages. When I'm sad, I read. When I'm happy, I read. When I'm thirsting and longing for knowledge, I read. If my afternoon is clear, I read. I've fallen in love with books. It doesn't matter if it's fiction, non-fiction, biographical, inspirational, every book is an encounter with the mind of it's author. On a practical level, it's communication. It's just reading what someone else has written. But I'm not a practical reader. Opening up a book is one of the most exciting things I can do. To me, it's an opportunity to learn, to feel, to think, to truly experience my own personal humanity. There is so much I gain from reading, and so much to be lost if I don't do it.

They say the best writers are avid readers. I will take that a step further to say that, personally, as a creator, reading makes me more creative. It challenges the way I look at problems, and transforms the way I solve them. When I'm wrapped up in a good book, I find it easier to generate ideas, be inspired, and produce higher quality work, both technically and conceptually. It all comes from being exposed to someone else's story, and having my creative thinking contested and challenged by how other people communicate good ideas. Everything I gain from reading eventually translates into design and works it's way in to every element of my work.

Soon, I will set out on new adventures nestled in the pages of twenty (and counting) new books. Because I have a stubborn inability to leave a bookstore without buying a book, I already have most of those books. So without further ado, my literary tick list:

  • The Iliad, Homer
  • The Odyssey, Homer
  • Faith Unraveled, Rachel Held Evans
  • Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge
  • Born To Run, Christopher McDougall
  • Our Great Big American God, Matthew Paul Turner
  • Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Aaron Ralston
  • Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin
  • Let My People Go Surfing, Yvon Chouinard
  • Jesus Feminist, Sarah Bessey
  • Letters 1916–1984, Ansel Adams
  • Lets Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson
  • Watchmen, Alan Moore
  • Onward, Howard Schultz
  • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Boundaries, Henry Cloud & John Townsend
  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  • Espresso Lessons, Arno Ilgner

Here's to fueling the imagination and stoking the creative fire!