"I don't read." is the most preposterous nonsense to have ever been said. The phrase is dull, ridiculous and far from true. Anybody who denies reading the back of a shampoo bottle in the shower is a downright liar. I eagerly anticipate cold rainy days that give me an excuse to curl up under a blanket and read for hours on end.
A book starts off as a mishmash of ingenious ideas, wonderful thoughts that with development turn empty notebook pages into pure pieces of magic. Bound in their millions for each and every book worm across the globe to experience the same quickened pulses, page turning impulses and raw emotions buried deep inside.
As George R.R. Martin, once said; "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” Reading a book allows you to travel to mind-numbing places, meet people you can only ever dream of meeting and experience life in many different forms; all from the comfort of your bedroom. What few of my friends can say that they have trekked into the deepest depths of the Antarctic, spent a week in a psychiatric hospital, interned at a top fashion magazine and lived 1000 years into the future in the space of two weeks? I know that I have.
Books to me are as a comfort blanket is to a baby. A book is that constant companion who will never let you down; who will make you laugh until your belly hurts, make you sob salty tears yet fill with you with evangelical happiness from head to toe. As Charles William Eliot once said; “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”
I've gone from reading Biff and Chip novels at the age of 4, to eagerly devouring Enid Blytons childhood adventures, to reading angst-y, adolescent crime thrillers to oh-so-soppy romance Novels. But what makes my head spin is the fact that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to absorb and revel in every single imaginary word out there.
When you read, you become emotionally invested in a characters life, you share their deepest darkest thoughts and feelings and you share a journey of self discovery. I think a quote from the infamous book, 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' is relevant here; "Sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book". With every new page I find myself sitting in a character's shoes, overwhelmed by the emotional roller coasters and faultless raw honesty on the authors part.
Reading is one of those rare, simple pleasures in life that anybody can take delight in. You may choose to read online, or on a kindle, but you will never be able to truly revel in the pure delight and happiness that reading a printed novel brings. You will never be able to inhale the musty smell of a book that's been sitting in the attic for 20 years; you'll never be able to feel the creases and folded up pages of generations gone by or hand down books to your children in the hope that they too will somebody enjoy the same feeling of contentment that you have. A book will never die in your hands; it will remain a companion that you can always rely on to transport you into a different world.
Reading is the ultimate form of escapism. By snuggling up with a book, you can lose yourself in every morsel of the authors imagination; your own stresses and worries vanish; leaving you immersed in a new life, as life in which you can make whatever you want of. The real world evaporates, leaving you in a magical and beautifully exhausting realm with only fictional characters to bring you the true joys in life.
Books are magical portals that start off as magical blank canvases; created with the sole purpose to fill the reader with evangelical contentment; yearning for more and left with messages to last a life time. Books are the best teachers in life, the best friends and the best labyrinth to fully immerse yourself in.
If you do not enjoy reading, then you simply haven't found your book yet. With countless book shops, libraries or dare I say it, Kindle stores, there are millions of books out there waiting for you to accidentally stumble upon and lose yourself in. Whether it be a heart wrenching love story, a dystopian drama, a gore filled zombie fantasy, or an innocent fairy tale, your book is out there. Take a chance and you may fall in love with the printed word just like I have.
I read. That doesn't mean that I'm a nerd, or weird, it simply means that I am living.