I’m scared of being lost, scared of change, scared of being alone in a room. It is funny then, how when reading a book, getting lost is the best way to enjoy it. Similarly it is also funny how the dramatic changes are what make life exciting, and how being alone in the moment feels almost therapeutic.
Before university I read a lot of books, more often than not they would be dark stories of relationship struggles, health issues, family break-ups too. I’m a good listener and there is nothing I enjoy more than hearing about other people’s problems. Again, it is a therapeutic feeling.
The thing is, I never realised until now how much I took fictional books for granted whilst studying. Over the exam period in particular, all day every day I memorized theories, names of journalists and case studies until it felt like a chore. There was no time for me to read about other people’s problems any more, there was only ever time for facts, I felt.
I will admit that is was a struggle, a draining process. I knew that I wasn’t quite happy but I couldn’t figure out why at the time, I assumed it was stress and worry more than anything.
That was until I got back home and for the first time in nine months, picked up a fiction book. It is hard to describe how it felt not wanting to put a book down, for once. I had no idea how much I had missed being taken away from the strains and struggles of real life into another world where you can take a back seat and just listen.
I get lost to a point where I don’t know what is going on in the real world any more. Every so often I hear my mum saying “you won’t have a book to read on holiday if you keep reading that”, but I can’t respond. I am too busy hearing about a woman’s’ murdered sister, or a girls’ journey across Siberia to save her mother’s secret.
I cannot express enough how valuable reading is. It offers an escape from everything, and sometimes that is just what people need, whether they realise it or not. I am in the process of writing my own novel in the hope that one day I will have readers, like myself, getting lost in my own story. I want to be able to take them away from everything, take their burdens away for even an hour a day.
So if there is ever a rainy day, or you have no one to see during the week, please just pick up a book. You will realise that anything that is playing on your mind, subconsciously or not, will disappear, and in my opinion there is no greater gift than the escapism that reading brings.