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Last week, I went to Barnes and Noble with a friend to get a few Greek Mythology books for our Dungeon & Dragons campaign.

The minute I went in, I felt a wave of excitement wash over me as I saw all the books ahead.

I raced over there and immediately tried to pick out a couple of books to read when I got home. Then, it made me think: When was the last time I read something for my own enjoyment?

Maybe it was part of the gifted kid burnout, where you get tired of the pressures of perfectionism put on you from a young age, but I could not remember the last time I read a book just for the sake of reading.

It had always been a blur of assignments and books being shoved either on my desk or in a box near my bed. I tried it once before, but I abandoned it shortly after a week.

I haven’t visited the library for anything other than the purpose of studying since I entered high school.

Something just clicked inside of me when I walked into the store. There was always a part of me that sprung alive whenever I went to a bookstore, regardless of whether I bought something or not.

The Barnes and Noble near my house had closed down when I was in middle school so I couldn’t go near there. I could’ve ordered them online but it felt different walking into a bookstore.

When I tried shopping online, I just left the items in my cart and never paid attention to them again. The smell of new physical book copies was always a big comfort to me.

So, I picked up new books for myself and brought them home. 

I finished the first book within hours. Then I started to read a book that I had bought ages ago I even started reading the final book of the “Trials of Apollo” series, which I had abandoned even after I read the other four. It brought a sense of calm to me that I didn’t realize I wanted back.

It was as if the outside world was nonexistent and it was just me and my book.

Books had always been my main source of escapism when I was a kid, so reclaiming it again as an adult was like a breath of fresh air. I missed the comfort reading had given me.

They brought relaxation to me whenever things got too stressful. I don’t know if this is only a  short-term thing. I might get burnt out again or I might continue reading as a hobby for the long term. Right now, I just want to keep reading and keep the refreshing feeling that it gives me.

Have you felt this way before? Let us know on Instagram @HerCampusSJSU!

I am a Journalism major at SJSU. I fell in love with it and I hope to travel the world to learn new things and meet new people. I hope one day to have my works published for the world to see. In my free time, I like listening to music while I scroll aimlessly through social media or talking to my friends.