So Reading Isn't Your Thing…or Is It?

We’ve all heard it before: read, read, read, it strengthens your vocabulary! But is that all reading does? Should we only read books in the hopes of becoming intellectually awesome? If that is the case, should we focus on books we know to be intellectually stimulating so that we might sharpen our intellect? Or is everyone so focused on the intellect they don’t see the dialect between stories and our psyches?

Keep in mind that when you see the word “read” in this article, it means you should read with the intention of utter enjoyment. It means you should read what pleases you, regardless of its academic standing because guess what? Reading is good for the soul…besides eating, that is.

We are all painfully aware of how stressful life can get, and there are a million and one different ways to cope with that anxious monster lurking within. And yes, we should always work our hardest, study our best, strive for the better, but we should never forget to inhale and exhale. We should always take a moment to realize that the sun is both beautiful and blinding at the same time. A moment to be whisked away to another world where you can laugh and cry and connive with characters you don’t know, yet know better than anyone else. To let our minds sigh, while someone else tells us their story.

In short, what we need is a good book.

And if you’re scoffing right now, perhaps you’ve yet to find the one.

If you have found that book, you may come to find that you can’t put it down. You may come to find that when you’re not reading that book, you wish you were. It’s just that good. And — every time you laugh because Ron said something unintentionally funny, or gasp because Katniss made a move you totally didn’t see coming — you can feel the tight tendrils of your mind ease, until you’ve read yourself to sleep, content that you will wake up without that anxious monster banging on its cage.

Now you’ve got something to look forward to every night, or morning, or day, because that book you picked up made you laugh and you miss the feeling.

Reading is a black hole of opportunity. You can learn a new word, laugh, cry, or be inspired. Hence this quote: “You could rattle the stars. You could do anything, if only you dared.” Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

“So what?” you might say, "I could do all of that watching television, or surfing the internet!"

But is it really the same? While your eyes are straining against the brightness of the screen, is it really the same? While you thumb through Instagram and click your way through a plethora of never-ending Snapchat stories, is it truly the same? Chances are, you aren’t learning a new word or being inspired — you’re just looking. Peeping into what other people are doing because you think it’s good to know. But you didn’t know what that person was thinking when they posted that, you don’t really know what they’re going through, because you’re not in their head like you’re in Frodo’s head. You’re not totally immersed in their thoughts enough to learn something.

So, read. And see what happens.

Hence, another quote: “The stories we love best do live in us forever.” J.K. Rowling


Cover image source: Pexels