There’s an adage that says, “Do what you love; the money will follow.” Well, I’ve been doing what I love — reading — for a long time now, and though there’s not a lot of money that’s followed me around in this career, it sure is great to be able to get paid for doing what I love to do.
Back in the day, there was a literacy slogan that said, “Reading is FUNdamental!” I’ll buy that any day. A good book can take you away from the cares of life and bring you into a new and different world. A book can challenge your mind, helping you learn and grow. Books are entertainment, simply pleasure and a wonderful leisure activity.
Before going to work, I start my day out with spiritual reading, anywhere from half an hour to an hour, as the day allows. Right now I’m in the middle of Ilia Delio’s book, Compassion: Living in the Spirit of St. Francis. This book had me at the Introduction, where Delio describes an experience of waiting in an airport, looking at the faces of the passersby and having a sense of the presence of God not unlike Thomas Merton’s experience on Fourth and Walnut in Louisville many years ago.
The work day is taken up with more reading: prospective manuscripts, finished manuscripts, blogs for potential authors and topics, current events, Church news — all are part and parcel of developing product for the Franciscan Media line. Our American Catholic website is a wellspring of information and ideas, too, as are other websites such as the Catholic bishops’ website and the religion section of the Huffington Post.
At night, it’s good to settle in with a newspaper or magazine. I try to keep my subscriptions to what I really read, to save a few trees. And though I’ll eventually convert to online versions of my media, after working on a computer all day, it’s balm to have a tactile product in hand and soothing on the eyes.
Years ago, I worked at a large corporation, as a secretary in the communications department. The head of the department would sit in his office and for at least two or three hours each morning, pour through piles of newspapers, journals, and the like. It was his job to know what was going on in the world, and reading was one of the ways he did that. “If I could only have that job,” I’d dream.
Now I, too, read all day. God is good.
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