"For me, the most liberating thing about coming out as a lesbian was that I could do anything I wanted, and didn't have to think about whether people would think I was weird. Because they probably ALREADY were going to think I was weird." - The Girls Next Door by Pamela Robin Brandt & Lindsay Van Gelder
Reading is so incredibly important. Books, newspapers, zines, blogs, etc. To take in information, analyze it, question it, compare it, be inspired by it, and to ENJOY IT!!
I'm eternally grateful to my mom and my half-sister, Leslie, whose combined efforts drove me to love reading. Leslie, an editor, has provided a great supply of diverse, interesting, beautiful books always a step ahead of my age's reading level. My mom read to me every night when I was a kid and frequently took me to the library a few blocks away. I still have most, if not all, of the books Leslie gave me and I still read them! The day before I started kindergarten, I told my mom that I would go to school to learn how to read and write, and then stop; I figured that I could do anything with those skills and the rest would just hold me back.
A lot of people say that they don't like reading because it's difficult for them. Just like everything else, it takes practice. There's no shame in reading several easy books before tackling something epic. And there's no shame in putting down a book for a while or reading it again later. I read Uncle Tom's Cabin for the first time in middle school - something I was able to do only because my mom and Leslie gave me a very early start - and then again in high school.
Everything comes from reading - writing (obviously; you have to read in order to write), language studies, science, etc. And most of all, AWARENESS!!!