As I sat on my armchair, third book of the week in my hands, the spread pages travelled through my eyes and into my mind. Every word i absorbed drew me in further, and no matter the story, this was always the case.
I didn’t often used to be a reader – I wrote a lot of stories when I was younger, but I never read the Harry Potter books, however I did get engrossed in Lemony Snicket’s world of ‘The Series of Unfortunate Events’. I bought all 12 books, including other books by Snicket pertaining to the wider storyline of the books.
At age 18, I have not read many books. But, I can tell you, that out of the loneliness of lockdown and quarantine, I found myself embarking upon the journey of being more mindful and, henceforth, reading more.
Humans love drama
Humans love immersing themselves in drama, exciting news, storylines, plot lines… But, there’s a sense of fear that takes us over when we imagine actually experiencing the story in its entirety. So, we enjoy reading the book, following the storyline, absorbing the plot, but not to actually be inside the story. Humans enjoy picking up a book when they need to relax, and putting the book down when they want to move onto other things.
It might worry you to imagine yourself inside the story, which is why we tend to rely on others to create the story for us.
I enjoy reading because, primarily, it allows me to escape, accomplish something, and learn something.
Which moves me on to my second heading.
We love knowing that we accomplish things. I’ll share a secret with you now – I have read one ebook. I can’t read them. I really, really cannot enjoy reading from a screen. Some of the reasoning is behind this point.
I love looking at my pile of books on the desk aside my comfy armchair, using a full cup of steaming coffee as a book weight to stop the flayed pages from springing upwards. I used to think of a thick book, like The woman in the Window or The Family upstairs, and think god, I can never read that. But the ease of reading a book in five hours overthrew me. I could do it!
After I finished The family Upstairs in 5 hours, I felt a surge of pride, productivity, self-improvement, and I went to tell my family. The support and happiness that shone onto me as I bragged about finishing a 400-page book in 5 hours was just what I needed to move onto the next one. I am now half way through the next.
I want to emphasise why we humans love reading in this second reason – we love physical accomplishments. We love the concept of bookshelves, a large frame with supporting beams, suspending a plethora of information. Read that, you could think, as you skim the bookshelves with your eyes. This is a great one, you could say, handing a book to a friend and letting them borrow it.
Reading supplies us with infinite knowledge, and the magic of hand-me-down books is a part of the beauty of reading.
This second point is tangibly paramount to the importance of reading, and although not everybody will agree that the physicalities of a book matters, but I absolutely believe that the crisp smell of an old book, or the shiny cover of a hardback makes me and others very happy.
Reading helps us learn
Reading teaches us, whether we notice it or not. Learning from others as they write it into a comprehensive paperback book, is in my opinion, one of the best kinds of learning.
For example, I read ‘courage’ by Osho and instantly felt an emotional and physical growth within myself.
There are many genres to dive into… self-help is close to my heart. I love reading fiction, specifically thriller and horror. Others choose to indulge in romance stories, books of history, geography, philosophy…
The reasons we read aren’t carved in stone – however we need to acknowledge that books, reading, and literature are the physical foundations of our culture. Information is stored in books, tablets, phones, our minds…