This, for me, has been the trickiest choice so far in the 26 Books Challenge. Reading in general is a life-enhancing, life–improving activity as far as I’m concerned.
Life in general is improved by books
The reading of books has the potential to educate, inform and guide. And besides that, and perhaps even more importantly, books – be they non-fiction, poetry or fiction – have the potential to improve a reader’s emotional and mental health. And all of this applies from infancy to old age.
Throughout my reading life there have been books that have made life better. There have been books that have challenged and inspired me, and books that have reassured and comforted me.
Being more specific
I do realise I haven’t answered challenge number 21’s question yet. Like I said it’s difficult. I’ll start by narrowing it down. Let’s go non-fiction. I have a fairly large collection of guide books and phrase books which are a reflection of all the places I’ve travelled to over the last 40 years. All of them proved useful and contributed to the specific area of ‘getting to know planet Earth’.
I also have how-to and hobby books and these include ones on cookery and gardening. It’s debatable how much the cookery ones have improved the specific area of producing delicious meals. But I like to think that my abilities in the specific area of stopping the garden invading the house have been improved by reading gardening books.
A specific book
Okay, I know, I can’t keep avoiding the challenge. So I’ll stick with non-fiction and narrow the focus right down.
In every garden I’ve had (and there have been a few) one of the main joys has been watching the birds who come to visit. And going beyond the garden, seeing water fowl or sea birds or birds of prey while out walking has been an uplifting privilege. But without my, now (like myself) rather aged, copy of Collins Complete Guide to British Birds I wouldn’t know a wren from a sea eagle. It’s been my go-to reference book for many years. And, yes, it has improved the specific area of my life known as passing oneself of as an expert. Though most of the time I wing it. (see what I did there?)
Right, your turn – and be specific…