It has been said that you are what you eat meaning that what we take into our bodies has an impact on our health and fitness. The idea is that if we eat healthy foods we will be healthy and if we eat junk food we won’t feel so great.
I think the same thing should be said about what we read. The thoughts and ideas that we pick up from books and magazines have a tremendous impact on what we think, what we believe and how we act. Now you may be thinking that I am saying this because I spent my childhood reading all those classics one is supposed to read as a child, you would be wrong. I spent my formative years reading about baseball. Once I could talk my parents into having a magazine subscription, I rotated between Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and Baseball Digest. I anxiously waited for the next issue to arrive and read each one cover to cover. These days I cannot say the same thing when an issue of Internal Auditor or The Journal of Accountancy arrives.
As a youngster I also read books about baseball and I still do. However, I did manage to expand my horizons over the years and have read a few of the standard classics. Along the way I picked up an affinity for C.S. Lewis as well. I recently noticed that the vast majority of books I own fall into four categories, not in order of importance: baseball (of course), humor (some might doubt that I have ever read a book about humor), religion and business. Not surprisingly, these are the area where I spend most of my time, areas where I have developed some knowledge. As I have read on these topics. I have not only learned, I have been shaped by what I read.
I have also noticed the books that belong to my wife. Many of these fall into two categories. The first category is cookbooks, I like these and the results that come from my wife using them. I eat the cookies and cakes as can be evidenced by my ever-expanding waist line. It is the second other major category that has me just a little concerned; these would murder mystery books. There are the Sue Grafton books, “A” is for Alibi, “B” is for Burglar, “C” is for Corpse, etc. There are the “Cat Who” books by Lilian Jackson Braun, “The Cat Who Blew the Whistle”. “The Cat Robbed a Bank” and so on. There are some that just have cute titles like “No Use Dying Over Spilled Milk” or “Harry’s Last Tax Cut.”
I know that my wife likes to read and read a lot. While I try to enjoy and savor a book she devours them like a kid with a bag of candy after Trick or Treat. I know that I do not have to worry about her mind being shaped by all those murder plots buried back in the creases of her mind, right? However if one day I meet my demise in some unusual way that sounds like a plot out of a murder mystery……….