The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I can’t help but be in love. Not in the conventionally romantic I love you kind of way, but in a way that makes every word worth reading, and every book worth opening. I just love reading. As a kid, my love for reading provided an escape from everyday life, however, much has changed since then.
I’ve noticed that, as we humans grow into old age, our love for books and intricate phrases slowly starts to dissipate until all we are left with is a stack of required readings and a few current articles from the New York Times (Or the Wall Street Journal… no shade).
In our youth, reading for pleasure is so easy and fascinating. We’re enthralled by every chapter, compelled by any and every book from action, to fantasy, to science fiction. We find pleasure in the little moments of happiness when we figure out the protagonist of the story is finally swept off their feet and dancing in the emerald meadows with their one and only true love. We encounter the warmth of tears flowing down our cheeks when the time finally comes for all good and all bad things to end with just a single tilt of an inscribed paper.
The beauty of books is that, when we turn each page, we travel through time with the characters’ thoughts and feelings. In a lot of ways, we become empaths as we too are discovering who the characters are and what gives their lives meaning. Much like us college students, they too are in search of themselves and something greater than life itself. We find meanings from symbols and carry with us friends and laughs through each chapter’s journey.
What I’ve fallen in love with is not just the characters or the narrative that a story entails. In fact, I truly believe that the best part of a book is not the climax, but the anticipation following the very first page. The anticipation of how the character will soon evolve, a feeling that doesn’t leave room for questions like what next? Instead they ask, who are these words trying to capture? And much like life, the characters never sit still. They move and groove and love and cry, and never for one second look back on what could’ve been because when we read, we read forward not backward.
This anticipation of evolution is why we’re essentially here at Yale. This idea of always moving forward no matter the circumstance. Finding joy in what we’re doing and trying to figure out how these small pieces of happiness will eventually shape into the bigger picture. The book that we continue reading fits so perfectly into a story that will soon become the essence of who we are.
Now here’s where the real questions lie. How do we get back into reading for fun? How do we reconcile with this old lover?
Here’s one way. Start with a childhood book so nostalgic that your heart begins to warm just by smelling the wood-based paper. A book that’s reminiscent of home and the love surrounding you. My go-to childhood books are the Percy Jackson series and anything relating to Greek mythology. And if you’re currently looking for a feminist take on a Greek tragedy, Daughters of Sparta is always a good one (I read it over break and broke down sobbing at least three times).
And if you’re thinking that this idea may sound a bit outrageous as you can barely find time to sleep and schedule a lunch date with friends, then no worries. That’s where Google Calendar can come in handy! Make time for the activities that you once enjoyed in your youth. Make time for the books that feel like home and inspire you the way they once did. Reignite the fire that once lit up your life because that youthful fire is what makes love worth keeping.
Let’s start a new story…or maybe even pick up on an old one. Let’s keep moving forward and nurture our souls with words. Let’s fall back into love.