Today is a day that I can wholeheartedly support in that I think reading books is one of the best things one can ever do to broaden horizons and provide a bit of entertainment on rainy days. Though I love books, I had no clue to what to sketch for this day and was rushed for time, so we ended up with a quickly sketched little stack of old books. My mind went to old books, actually, because I need to schedule an eye appointment and am dreading it. It turns out, I myself am getting a bit old and dangerously close to needing bifocals. Currently, my method of reading involves zooming a book in an out with my arms in order to get the text to come into focus properly. This is the same thing I have to do with menus at a restaurant, unless it’s one with very low lighting, in which case, I just give up entirely and ask Philippe to order for me. And my inner child still longs for the old days when books came in this form and weren’t reduced to a bunch of words on an electronic device. But, no matter what form a good story comes in, I’m always an avid fan. Even if I might require reading glasses in the near future to view it properly.
Here in America, a quarter of the population now reports that they haven’t read a book in the past year. Though this number has bounced around a bit, it’s definitely adding more and more each year to the total. In truth, the number of adults reading literature hit an all-time low in the past couple of years. It’s not particularly surprising in that we have an insane amount of options today to fill time that was previously used for reading. Passive entertainment in the form of video has taken over and the written word tends to crouch a bit in the corner wondering what to do next. But there’s really nothing that equals a written story that requires a bit of visual imagination to fill in all of the pieces. It’s this same visual imagination that I use to paint and sketch each and every day. While it’s wonderful to have everything shown to us, it’s still rather amazing to let our brains fill in the gaps. For me, I can’t imagine a world without the written word and the chance to dance with each little phrase on a page to create my own version of the story in my mind.
So, I’ll be taking a little moment tonight to dive into some of those stories that have been waiting for me. I’ve found myself easily distracted lately and not taking the time to read those books that I have on my list. To me, life is just a bit of mental exercise and like all good forms of exercise, it’s usually best when you mix things up a bit. And I’m not talking about only fiction, of course, I have a stack of watercolor books on the table that I’ve only lightly browsed so far. There are many secrets waiting within those pages that I’m excited to reveal. What strikes me most is that being a bit more well-rounded is a wonderful goal. To yes, watch those lovely videos on YouTube, but also carve out a bit of time to experience knowledge in other forms. I love all of these methods of getting information, and would never say that reading is the only path. But, I would say it’s a required path to choose along the way to become more creative and filled with inspiration. It’s often that missing ingredient after hours spent in front of a computer screen. So, I’m going to bid you farewell, and spend a few precious moments diving into a good written story while I celebrate Read A Book Day.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Opus (Vivid Pink), Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!