As a self-professed book nerd and daily reader, I consider myself to be most at home around my books. Unlike people, they have a way of relaxing me, of re-centering me when everything else in my life feels topsy-turvey. They’re my escape from reality, my respite from everyday life; an introvert’s paradise.
Ceridwen Dovey said in an article entitled, Can Reading Make You Happier?, “Reading fiction is one of the few remaining paths to transcendence, that elusive state in which the distance between the self and the universe shrinks.”
I like to get lost in the pages of a good book, to get wrapped up in an uncharted world made of words. It’s a release for me, a step outside my own mind. Without that distance I can get a little stir crazy. I’ll feel overwhelmed and caught up, lost without any sense of the right direction.
Not every book is a perfect match for this mental respite. No matter how thrilling a summary sounds or how highly recommended on Goodreads, some stories just won’t draw me in. I’ll slog through them, page by page, and all the while feel like I’m mentally tearing my hair out in boredom.
But the right book…well that’s magic. The right book makes me want to shirk all my responsibilities as I devour it. The right book draws me in, luring me towards it’s secrets and mysteries, filling me up with curiosity. It is a balm for my weary soul.
Books have at times been my teachers and my role models, guiding me towards the best parts of myself and leading me by example. I’ve learned to be brave and to stand up for myself, to be kind and understanding, and to defend my values. In some ways, you could say I’ve tried to take on the personality traits of those characters I’ve most admired.
Books are also friends, the good kind who don’t expect anything in return. Through a dozen reads or more, the characters always remain the same, ever steady and always there for me when I need them. They’re a hot drink and a warm fire on a dreary day, kind storytellers to distract me as I unwind.
A friend told me lately that I read more than any other person he knows. Maybe that’s true, but no matter how many books I finish I always feel like there’s more out there to discover. Because the truth is, books just have a way of making me happy. Sure I get disappointed from time to time when I pick a bad one, but that’s rare and I honestly don’t know where I’d be without my cherished favorites. They’re part of who I am now and I love them for it.