5 Ways Reading Influences Your Perspective

I speak a lot on this blog about the power of perspective and not being limited in thought. As I made my coffee yesterday morning and thinking about a book I needed to finish, I thought about reading and the profound role that literacy plays in our lives. Perspective can be defined as:

“…a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”

#1 You Are What You Read

The saying, “you are what you eat,” is used to convey the message that we should be careful what we are putting into our bodies. A stunning new report from the World Health Organization has concluded that there is clear scientific evidence that eating pork leads to cancer, and I am not just saying this because I don’t eat pork. An overindulgence in snacks such as processed foods is also not good and can hurt the kidneys and harm weight.

Just like we are what we eat, we are also what we read!

What you put into your mind has the power to change you for better or for worse.

#2. Reading One Type of Book

Do this, and you will indeed be confined to one form of thought. You can be passionate without being limited. There are books about black history that are not written by African Americans, and while I get how that sounds counterproductive, there is still some useful information in some of these books. I don’t neglect to read them because the author is not black. (I don’t even believe in white or black people. I use these terms specifically for understanding, but I believe in nations, not colors.) I read Urban Fiction sometimes, and sometimes I read Western Literature. I will not be boxed in, and I will not be limited.

#3. Neglecting Indie Authors

Readers should not limit themselves to reading only Traditionally Published books. Because you have read one poorly written Indie book, and now every Self-Published book is not good? The Shack, a book I own and have used for research for many years, started as a Self-Published Book. It became a USA Today Best Seller and is being made into a movie.

As an Independent Author, I must support this community. If I am reading something, like a classic novel, I make sure that I also have an Indie book to read, and since I am a book blogger, I always have an Indie book on hand.

Indie books also tend to be cheaper than Trad, so there’s really no excuse. You probably spend more on lunch and coffee. Two dollars and under a month (for an eBook) is not expensive. Go the extra mile and buy the paperback. Pick an Indie Author whose books you love that are well-written and support them. Or, pick a slew of Indie Authors and purchase at least one book a month. How can you really support Indie Authors (or change the way you think of us) if you don’t read our books? How can you say all Independent books suck if you’ve never read any?

#4. Neglecting Trad. Published / Classics

The door swings both ways, people. Don’t neglect the Traditionally Published books and Classics either. Mainly since many of them are well-written. This next part may be sensitive for some of you, but it is the truth:

Be Careful Reading Poorly Written Books

This is mainly for the writers out there. Balance is everything. I’m an Indie Author, and I support Indie Authors, but disregarding the elephant in the room is just naive. While I enjoy Indie books, not all Indie books are well-written.

I have a genuine love for reading, so it matters little to me how a book is published. I read Indie books, classics, and traditionally published books. This is important to me because if you keep reading books that are not up to par, you can only begin to write just the same.

I am not saying Indie books can’t compete with literary classics or traditional publishing. I am saying there are still lots of Self-Published books that are just not well-written. To continue to read this kind of material is counterproductive.

#5. Morals / Values

I saved this for last because I know how sensitive we are about anything that we “perceive” to be religious. However, it must be brought up and goes back to the first bullet point: You are what you read.

There are lots of great books for research purposes, and then there are books that are not worth the time. 

While some readers are strong enough to “chew the meat and spit out the bones” – meaning to dissect the worthy information and apply it without ingesting the falsehood – some readers are too sensitive to do so. In other words, it wouldn’t take much convincing for them to be negatively influenced or adopt a foreign belief.

If you know that you are easily swayed and unstable in your thoughts, you may want to stay away from particular literature that has the potential to change who you are.

Sure, I have books on the importance of watching what I eat, but I will not become a vegetarian Goddess who condemns all meat-eaters because we should love animals.

That’s what I am talking about. 

As I say, staying true to yourself is a priority. Some books are not worth the time, and we must learn to discern what those books are. People walk around, like reading is always a good thing. In some instances, it is not. Everything has a balance to it. Some books are bad for you, just like there is food that is bad for you. Make sure that as you read, you are also paying attention to yourself. Reading can influence your perspective in more ways than one.

#Book #Review – Flirting With Disaster by Tracy Brown

Title: Flirting With Disaster
Author: Tracy Brown
Print Length: 104 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (November 5, 2013)
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English

Tracy Brown is not a Self-Published Author but I am writing this review because I think the message in this read is so important. So let’s get into it:


Flirting With Disaster is a novella about a young black woman named Chloe Webster and her relationship habits. Chloe and her family are not rich, but sisters Chloe and Willow have everything they need from their single mother Rachel Webster. Chloe is a young twenty year old pursuing a degree in Journalism at Hunter College and enjoying the freedom living at home is affording her. She does not have to pay bills or get a job and be held down by adult responsibilities. Chloe’s mother, Rachel, is a hard working bank clerk at Midtown Manhattan and can afford her daughters this luxury. Though the author does not reveal Rachel’s age, I imagine her as someone who had her daughters young but who is hip to the workings of the streets and works hard to give her daughters everything they need. Rachel doesn’t want them dating drug dealer boyfriends who shower them with designer clothes and expensive gifts. Rachel teaches her girls that just because they live in the hood does not mean they have to act like hood rats. For this reason, Rachel showers them herself. While watching their grades like a hawk, she gives them monthly shopping sprees and bi-weekly hair appointments. As a result, while Chloe is a beautiful young woman pursuing a career, she is also conceited and naive. Everything I am sure her mother strives hard to teach her not to be.

The story opens with Chloe leaving the St. George bus terminal and hurrying to catch The Staten Island Ferry to Lower Manhattan. Finally finding a seat and catching her breath she catches the eye of Trey, a handsome young man dressed just enticing enough for someone like Chloe to notice. Fresh black Nikes, blue jeans, and a Coogi polo shirt. Trey has that laid back, neatly groomed low hair cut, T.I. style that Chloe likes. After all, what a man has on his feet is all too important to her. After exchanging some flattering words, Chloe decides to let Trey wine, dine, and spend on her. Without giving up the goodies, Chloe keeps Jason on the side for her physical needs while Trey showers her with everything she thinks is worthy of a man: expensive gifts, dinners and everything else physically attractive to a twenty-year old who is used to getting what she wants. But all that glitters ain’t gold and all that looks good is far from it.

Trey has lots of secrets and housed between his good looks and expensive gifts is a very troubled man. In fact, Trey noticed Chloe because of something much more disturbing than her good looks. Growing up in a troubled home, Chloe reminds Trey of his mother who walked out on him years ago and left him with his abusive father. Distracted by the physical attractions of what makes for a good man, Chloe is blinded to other attributes that should come into question. What is Trey’s last name? What’s Trey’s family like? What kind of people has he dated in the past and why have those relationships ended? Where is his family? Where do they live? What kind of people are they? These are questions women should ask themselves when dating any man. These are also questions Chloe does not have the answers to. Warned by both her mother and sister that something is not right about this man, Chloe ignores their concerns and continues to spend Trey’s money and play with his mind. Chloe is having fun flirting with disaster. She will learn the hard way that there is much more to a man than his shoe size, his wallet, and his physical appearance.

One of the criticisms of this book is that it was too short. I do not think so. In fact, I think it was just as long as it needed to be. The message does not, in my opinion, require lots of Chapters to get across and is not difficult to understand. Lots of young people look for and are attracted to men like Trey. They are sucked in by the name brand designer clothing, the job that pays well, and the expensive gifts. But it is not just young people, it is society itself. We teach our daughters that a man with no money is not worth their time. We also encourage our daughters to be with men who could financially provide for them and to ignore everything else. Forget that he must be mentally stable, genuinely kind, and spiritually insightful. Forget that he must be loving and compassionate. While a man has a responsibility to provide for his family, there is also so much more that men provide. They provide protection, spiritual guidance, and discipline for our children just to name a few.


I think all young people should read this book. The lesson is priceless. Find Flirting With Disaster on Amazon.


…does man determine his self-worth by his career or financial situation? Is it really necessary to introduce yourself as a doctor outside of the office? Is it worth it to continue to remind everyone that your a writer with every post? Or does not the post itself justification enough? We all have bills to pay true, but perhaps if our self-worth wasn’t so wrapped up in titles and prestige we can enjoy life better and we won’t be so depressed all of the time. My books may sell and they may not but that’s the experience and I am in love with that process. You see we get so confused about life because everything is out of context, we have forgotten those things that are really important. When it’s hot we’re complaining that it’s too hot. When it’s cold we start complaining that it’s too cold. When it rains we are mad that it’s raining but when there’s a drought we curse the sky.

It is necessary to enjoy the sun rays instead of complain about how hot it is outside.

It is necessary to appreciate the stillness instead of complain about being bored.

It is necessary to love the fruit of the womb instead of complain about how bad your children are. Or have you not stopped to discern that some people cannot have them?

It is necessary to love the man or woman in your life if you have one.

In short, it is always necessary to pay attention to how you spend your time, for it will soon be just a memory.

Bad Relationship Advice in Movies


I don’t speak much about relationships on this blog. But what I don’t understand is how grown men and women continue to model their relationships after these Hollywood style movies, especially within the Black community. From Waiting to Exhale to Scandal these shows are far from realistic as far as strengthening a relationship is concerned, and are doing nothing more than rotting your attempt to be successful at building a strong family unit. If you’re going to dedicate yourself to these kinds of shows at least understand when you’re being lied to. At least then you can receive back some kind of substance from having watched it. For instance, “Think Like a Man.” First of all, how did Steve Harvey become such a relationship expert? But that’s another post for another day. But here’s a movie where grown men and women play children’s games. Women, Steve Harvey tells you to think like a man. The bible says that Satan thinks like a man, and that the inclination of the thoughts of men’s hearts is only evil continually. It looks good yes, but everything that looks good ain’t. Why do I want to think like a man? I’m a not a man, I’m a woman. These movies got many of you walking around thinking like the devil and you don’t even know it. There is nothing of value that you can take from this movie and apply to your real life relationship. Far as Scandal is concerned, there is just nothing healthy about the way Olivia controls the men in her life; she may as well have them on strings and yall are eating it up. What kind of advice can Ms. Pope give me that will help strengthen my marriage? In the real world we say, “I want to be a good woman,” but then we turn around and give energy to shows that are not representative of what we say we want. Our mouths are in a conflict with our hearts. (And let’s not even talk about Empire that yall love so much. I’m still asking myself why  Denzel Washington could win an award for Training Day and not for Malcolm X. But I suppose we’ll always be nothing more than Pimps and Thugs instead of  Gods and Kings, but that’s another topic for another day). It’s not just about entertainment. Subconsciously, you still take something back from it that you implement into your physical life. The kinds of things we expose ourselves to: music, movies, books, etc., all have the capacity to affect us in some way. There is always something that we take back from the experience and make manifest into our physical existence. I’m not condemning anyone; I ain’t got stones to throw at you that don’t first belong to me. I’m in this same boat. It’s just that I’m at a point in my life where I am beginning to do away with those things that do not prove to be of value to my life. Personally, I cannot continue to give myself to anything that no longer grows me. There are certain things that I am no longer willing to even allow occupying my consciousness. As a unit I just think that we must learn to understand the messages given us and how they are teaching us to operate in the real world. There was a point where I lived for this kind of entertainment, especially because of the love I have for my people. Anything we did or was a part of I wanted to support, even if it was a TV show. But I notice that we tend to upgrade everything about ourselves except our minds. It’s time to get started on that.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – The Obscurity of Truth

That’s right, it is Wednesday, but not just any Wednesday, it is Writer’s Quote Wednesday, an open forum hosted by Colleen of Silver Threadings that gives us an opportunity to highlight the quotes and lyrics of other authors for inspiration and motivation. Today’s quote comes from Blaise Pascal:

The Obscurity of Truth

Family Guy had an episode where Brian and Stewie had offspring together. For those who do not know, Stewie is a baby (human) and Brian is a dog. So they had a litter of half-dog, half-human offspring. I read an article where a human ear was grown on the back of a mouse. A brother of mine read another article where three men were married. And then I heard on the radio just this morning that there will soon be what is called abortion medication that can be sold over the counter.

We live in a world that becomes more and more free every day. It is not a freedom to which our minds have already accepted. Not a freedom in the sense of being released from chains. Not a releasing type freedom. But the world is becoming free in a different way. In a way that is not as pure as the term freedom might suggest. The lines between what is right and what is wrong are blurred. The basic common sense that people once had is quickly being done away with. While we can go back and forth about one’s perception of right and wrong, in the end the truth will always be there. Whether or not the majority believes it to be so does not nullify its existence. But lies, usually supported under the concept of love, is so well established in this world. It is so well articulated. So well researched. So well put together, that sadly there are many who will never know the difference between what is real and what is not real. What is truth? What is not truth? The answer to this question depends on your level of love for the truth. Not your research. Not your philosophies. Not your rights. Not even your religion. Just the truth. If you love the truth, you will love the answers to these questions. It’s that simple. Or at least it was.

Thanks for stopping by, you know I love to have you, :).


Don’t forget to check out Writer’s Quote Wednesday every Wednesday, hosted by Silver Threading.