Alum Pearl S. Buck graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1914. In 1938, she won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The committee said that they were awarding her this year’s prize for her “notable works in which pave the way to a human sympathy passing over widely separated racial boundaries and for the studies of human ideals which are great and living art of portraiture…” In her memoir, she referred to the several worlds that she lived in, “one small, white, clean Presbyterian world” of her parents and the other “big, loving not-too-clean Chinese world” with no communication between the two. I can’t really relate to Pearl in the sense where I live in two different worlds of white and Chinese, but I can relate to the desire of escaping to the comfort of a good book.
“Surely books ought to be within the reach of everybody.” –Pearl S. Buck
So, in the effort to intentionally care for my mind, I get lost inside of a good book. From Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants, to Pearl S. Bucks’ The Good Earth, to Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life, to A Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman. My mind wanders as I explore the different styles and contexts. It’s so interesting to imagine the author reading their work to you! I mean, come on, I would LOVE if Mindy Kaling read to me Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I would die from hysterical laughter to hear her tell these stories. It just reminds me how relaxing and enjoyable I find reading to be. I adore the smell of a fresh book from the library, but I also really like having an entire library of books on my Kindle at my fingertips.
So, today I encourage you to read a book. I mean, yes, it is really important for all of us to see what happened on Scandal last night, including me, but that’s why it’s called On Demand. But seriously, go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon, your local public library and find a book that really interests you. I’m not talking about one that you have to read for class, work or church, but something that you enjoy. It’s the simple things in life that matter most and add to your longevity. That’s a fact.
– Ja’el Daniely