Saturday, April 9, 2011

Books -- Are they mind candy, or medicine?

I often tell people that my writing is mind candy and it's absolutely true. I don't solve any world problems with my books. But I'd like to think I make a bright spot in the reader's day and, to my way of thinking, that can be as important as creating the next great software or developing an effective new medicine. Happiness is medicine...maybe the most powerful medicine we know.

People can live without a lot of things. We can survive without nice clothes, homes or cars. We won't die if we can't go to the movies, or out to a club, or (gasp!) if we have to eat at home rather than at a restaurant. But if we have no joy in our lives, we just shrivel up and die. The body reacts to happiness like it reacts to medicine. Petting a dog lowers the blood pressure. Laughter raises endorphins and strengthens the immune system.

So is reading a good book mind candy. Yes. But is it an important part of a healthy existence? For millions of readers it is, yes. So I say...along with your apple a about a book a day. And may you live to 110 years old!

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