To live your life without the company of stories is a tragedy and one I hope will soon fade from existence. However, given the day and age we live in, I’m frightened to admit that I feel reading is becoming all the more insignificant to children and adults alike. My mother, for example, always claims how she is too busy to read, between work and me and my siblings, reading doesn’t seem that important.
No one in my family and none of my friends have ever been that fond of reading either. So growing up I never had many strong reading influences in my life, which looking back on, is really disappointing. To know that I could have had these amazing stories in my life earlier is unfortunate, but at the end of the day, I am lucky to have found books at all. Whereas, some people go their whole lives without knowing of the imagination, the creativeness, the pure magic that is books.
Looking back on my life without books, I only now see how completely and utterly lost I was. I was looking for friends in people who were fake and maybe as lost as I was. I thought I had my whole life figured out at age 11. I thought I knew everything there was to know about life. But boy, was I wrong.
Books have not only taught me the importance of stories and imagination, they have also taught me so many lessons that I fear are drifting away from society. For example, empathy. I think it is nearly impossible to be a reader and not also be empathetic.
I think empathy is the one of the biggest tools a reader has. Reading all types of books, all from different perspectives, really allows you to think about people other than yourself. And if there is one thing I think society and our world today is lacking, it’s empathy. Nowadays, everyone cares about themselves and only themselves, which is why I am glad to have found books and that I have this new found appreciation for the differences that make people who they are.
For as long as I can remember, books have made me feel whole. Like a piece of me was missing, only to discover that the key to the locked door was right in front of me the whole time. Books have made me feel emotions I didn’t know I could feel. They make me feel human. They make me question everything I thought I knew. And there is no better feeling than to love a book so much, it takes up the entirety of your thoughts. There is no better feeling than to be completely indulged in a story that everything else in the world seems to fade out of view. Life can be so stressful and books are a perfect escape from the anxiety-stricken world, even if it is just for a second.
For me, it was never just reading, but more or less, the stories intertwined within the pages. As well as the words that are used to describe the magic of the stories. I am still so young and have so much of my life in front of me. And it is a total relief to know that whatever happens, books will always be there for me, when I need an escape.
Life is so complicated, so full of ups and downs. People, even friends and family, aren’t always going to be there for you. But books will. Whenever I am in a fight with a family member or am not speaking to a close friend, it gives me a little bit of hope to know that books will always be a constant in my life. And therefore, I will never truly be alone.
It was books that made me feel like there was more to life than school and work. Books have inspired me beyond compare. They have made me recognize the creativeness and imagination I wasn’t sure existed within me. It opened my eyes to how wonderful and adventurous life can be. It made me want to write and tell stories and hopefully change someone’s life the way so many books have changed mine. It made me want to seek a life that is spontaneous and unpredictable. I owe everything I am to books. I still have a lot to learn and I cannot wait to see what other books will continue to change my perspective.