I read because…
Books are consistent. Books are powerful.
Pliable or hardened, they always have a cover. Freshly stiff or broken glue, they always have a spine. Paper pages full of ink – full of power. One book can take you to a whole different world. Another can help you sort through your current life situations. Whether escaping reality or trying to make sense of it, books are powerful. Arguably more so than spoken words, for they live on and require a sort of engagement that audible content consumption doesn’t always demand.
“One must be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
—Cassandra Clare, The Infernal Devices
Books have always been a part of my life.
I remember sitting on the laps of my parents, listening to them bring the then nonsense symbols on a page to life, then learning about letters and words, and finally devouring books all on my own. I used to snuggle into our living room recliner, feet barely dangling over the edge of the seat, and spend hours engrossed in the Book of Virtues, Aesop’s Fables, or The Chronicles of Narnia.
When I stop reading, I notice a difference.
As soon as a few days, weeks, or months go by without an ample amount of time spent reading, I feel off. I am much more myself when my philosophies are being nurtured by nonfiction, my senses are soaring in a fictitious world, and my craft honed by advice-giving articles and tips. The same goes for writing. When I’m not adequately emptying my mind, thoughts, and heart, I begin to feel congested. Like a sinus infection of the brain.
The longest I think I’ve ever gone without reading intentionally was the summer after I graduated from university. I’d been devouring a couple of novels, multiple articles, and peers’ papers every week, so after I’d donned my black cap and gown, I was ready for a break. While my eyes were happy for a rest from such an intense and rigid schedule, by the end of the summer, I couldn’t wait to make a new dent in my bookshelf.
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Written by Emiley Jones.
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