Words have always been a big part of my life. When I was a kid, I read. All the time. And when say all the time, we’re talking five or six books a week. I would head to the library (yes, I’m THAT old) on a Saturday, check out as many books as they would allow and happily scamper home to devour my haul.

I still love to read but because I’m an adult and have all these other crazy things to do, like work, take care of the house, etc., I don’t get to do it nearly enough. But for me, there’s still nothing better than a rainy weekend with a great read that I’ll stay up all night obsessing over.

Reading is how I learned to love words. It’s how I also learned what all kinds of words I previously didn’t know meant. When you’re engrossed in a book and you come across a word that you don’t know, it’s easy enough to decipher its meaning by the content of the sentence. For example:

Could you elucidate that concept so that I can fully grasp it?”

Now, not everybody is going to know what elucidate means when you see the word on its own, right? But when it’s in a sentence like the one above, you can kinda figure out that it probably has something to do with explaining a concept.

Here’s another example:

“She made a perfunctory review of the sales agreement before signing it.”

Perfunctory by itself… not exactly self-explanatory. But the context of the sentence helps you understand that it likely means this lady didn’t spend a lot of time or attention reviewing the agreement.

My point is, reading, more than anything, helped me expand my vocabulary – -particularly when I was younger. When I didn’t fully grasp what a word meant, I would grab a dictionary (told you I was old) and look it up so I would never have to wonder about it again. These days, it’s even easier, what with Google and the internet and all.

So, read. Please. You can read for leisure, to gain knowledge, to extract information. Books can be our most cherished possessions because you receive so much from them. When you’re a kid, they can help shape your mind, they can lead you into a whole new world and they can make reading a lifelong passion that also just happens to help you learn some stuff along the way.