Reading is Healthy

*Note* The below blog post is a guest blog from our Twitter friend Sage (@sagemauldin). This content does not necessarily reflect the views of Better World Books (as our lawyers make sure we say). We love having guest bloggers and invite you to email if you are interested in covering a book or topic on the BWB Blog. Thank you, Sage!

My name is Sage A. Mauldin. I’m a Psychology major, senior, at the University of Oklahoma, and a staunch reader of sorts (i.e., philosophy, psychology, religion, politics, humor). My three wheelhouse passions are everything-psychology, writing and, of course, reading. Not until recently did I discover Better World Books through a friend of mine, Jennifer Williams, who has recently wrote a blog on here about “The Power of Reading.”

For my blog, I would like to share with you my reading experience, how it began, and why books hold a special place in my life. So, let us begin, shall we? My reading experience began a few years ago, after my brother passed away, when my depression pushed me down a deep, unsettling abyss. I was there for about a year. During this time, I was lost, I felt hopeless, I became overly pessimistic, and I forgot who I was. This was when, from nowhere, chance came along; it snatched me from my dismal state, gave me direction and motivation, and restored the hope, optimism, and faith I thought I had lost forever. The Shack, a fictional novel, written by William P. Young, was my light of visceral meaning; it came to my aid and restored me.

Just after I read the novel was when my passion for reading blossomed. So I ventured on to read Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ books. Her work was focused predominately on death, grief, and dying. She was a Psychiatrist in Europe who volunteered as a M.D. for the Red Cross and believed everyone had a destiny in life; it was she, more than anyone else, who inspired me to become a Psychologist.

After taking a plethora of psychology courses at my university, I now pretend-diagnose and analyze authors and characters from the books I read. Sometimes an author has a history of addiction (Ozzy Osbourne), or a character is forced to keep his sexual desires on a canvas to avoid punishment or death from the strict aristocracy of England during the Victorian Era (Basil from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray), or in some cases, an author, like Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein, wants to know my thoughts or opinions about an issue. She asks, “Is it right or wrong for an egotistical, obsessed, insecure madman-of-a-scientist to bring back to life a once deceased man, only to keep him from having a love life or freedom?” Just so you know, Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein is a narcissist—anyone would be wrong to do that.

These make-believe counseling sessions I have with an author or character are always enjoyable. I ask questions, find answers, then, after I finish a book, I write an analysis, which usually takes thirty minutes.

The reason why books hold a special place in my life is because any book, if you allow it, can fix a broken heart or pure a corrupted mind; it can take you into its pages, teach you a thing or two about life, inspire you, give you life, like it gave me, and can, depending on its quality, take you to a place where you’ve never been before. And if you’re a psychology wonk, (or any wonk, for that matter), like myself, you can make reading fun and original. Lastly, I would like to say thank you, Better World Books, for giving me this wonderful opportunity. You can follow me on Twitter @sagemauldin.

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