Just a week into my summer vacations and I’ve already devoured five books. I’d tell you I’m pretty amazed— but then I usually underrate my genius, so what I think is immaterial anyway. I sometimes feel I’m too hard on myself— this constant pushing-forward often leaves my muscles sore. But then I realise there’s a lot that I’ve to see, do, read, study, know, learn, feel…the list is not exhaustive. So I can’t stop. I can’t fall into the ordinary. You feel me?
Anyway, I digress. Sorry.
So, books. Books keep me sane. I’m angry, I read. I’m happy, I read. I’m sad, I read. I’m annoyed, I read. And when I’m burdened with my coursework and can’t make time for reading, I throw my course books aside and I read. I cut back on sleep and read. Sometimes I read while I eat.
For me, reading’s pretty much a synonym for halcyon. I’m an addict and I have no qualms about it. I love to experiment with genres, no favourites here! Oh except, I can’t tolerate crappy romance novels. I just can’t. I’ve tried to develop a liking for them but failed miserably. Consider:
Natalie’s dating Nathan but she sleeps with Anton, Nathan finds out and breaks up with Nat only to realise 150 pages later that Nat cooked this story up because she’s dying of cancer and didn’t wanna leave Nathan hanging. So much for love.
Plots like these make my eyes cringe and bleed, just can’t stand them. The writing’s usually bad and superficial with zero application of psychology and sense. I could name a few authors but I won’t. To each his own.
Coming to why I read and you should too. A good book will keep you amused and also equip you with life skills. Even if the story’s not gold, a book will teach you something. If the plot’s set in Sweden, it’ll give you a glimpse (if not an all-around-peeper) of the Swedish culture. If it’s non-fiction, it’ll enhance your understanding of the world around you. If it’s a mystery it’ll give you an adrenaline rush. If it’s a non-fiction-medical-thriller then it might even shove some science down your throat. If it’s on self improvement it’ll help you in becoming a better version of yourself.
Most books will provide you with all of the above, and much more. You’ll learn about places, people, cultures, traditions. Whatever the genre maybe, it’ll open doors to paradise, besides giving you an insight into human psychology.
There will definitely be moments when you identify with a character so much that you magnify understanding of your own self. Funny isn’t it? I always find it amusing when a fictional character tells me stuff about myself.
When you start reading, the world will become a better place. You’ll actually look forward to lines and layovers and waiting rooms. You’ll never be bored again, you’ll always be intellectually stimulated. You’ll ask why it took you so long to rouse this superpower within you.
You’ll learn so much, you’ll realise that you were dumber than you thought, that there’s so much about your world you don’t know yet. To shed off the stupid you’ll read even more. It’s a cycle.
Of course, some books you’ll forget quickly. You’ll never pick them up again—just like you meet people in the streets you never see again. But then there’ll be books you’ll never really close and put away. You’ll always carry the stories in your heart, you’ll always take these books with you to the airport or to the station. You’ll grow so fond of the characters you’ll find yourself googling “I’m in love with a fictional character, what do I do?”
The point is, once you begin reading, you’ll change. Reading will sculpt and chisel your raw form and refine you. It’ll bring out feelings you didn’t even know resided in you. I believe to know the world, you needn’t always travel. You can read! It’s equally thrilling.
An advice is in order: don’t just read what you think you love. Experiment! To me genres are like children, can’t treat one any different from the others. Once you become aware of contrasting dissensions, you discover truths you thought were false. That’s when you dive into the trench of wisdom and discover pretty pearls of knowledge.
What’s more, there are studies which prove that reading reduces stress. You don’t want grey hair on your head at 30, do you? So waltz to your book abode and skim through the pages to find treasure. There’s always a pot of gold waiting for you at the last page.
Images used are my own.
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