1. You Escape
The outside world can be incredibly frustrating. Sometimes it can be something as simple as my sister insisting on watching an episode of Royal Pains for the third time in a week, other times it’s something more complex, like the state of our government (but I’m not going to get into all of that here, because we don’t have time). Whenever the idea of interacting with humans just sounds exhausting, I hermit away and read. Because, HEY, My Earth may be too much right now, but there’s nothing better than the lovely world of Middle Earth! Goodbye worries, hello hobbitses.
2. You Understand
I lived in a small town for my entire life, so needless to say, my worldview was extremely limited for the first eighteen years of my life. Even now, when I’ve gone off to school and traveled a bit (a very little bit), I know that I still know very little about the world and the way other people live and see the world. Reading books by diverse authors about diverse subjects is at least a small way that I can open up my mind to other points of view. The moment we start thinking that the center of the Universe lies somewhere in a two foot radius of ourselves at all times, we begin suffering immensely. Read a book, and change you life by changing your thinking.
3. You Cry
I know that for myself, I don’t like to cry. I will put it further and further off until I’m a horrible person to be around because I’m about to burst emotionally. When that’s the case, I find a book that I know will bring on the *feelings* and slowly descend into an emotional black hole for the next few days. I hate it, I love it, but it feels so GREAT after. You basically turn into the human equivalent of nature after a really big rainstorm: refreshed, clear, a little damp, and you smell great (this last one might not be true, I don’t know what kind of crier you are).
4. You Feel Less Alone
There are certain books that make you feel like you’ve been wrapped in a nice, warm blanket as soon as you crack them open. You spend so much time with the characters that by the end of the book, you’re as attached to them as you are to the real, three dimensional people in your life. You’ll never really be alone if you have a good book.
5. You Connect With Others
A book is the absolute best conversation piece, which is why bookcases are so often proudly displayed in the room. If they weren’t people would save space and pack all their books away in boxes or closets. There’s really nothing better than meeting a person you wouldn’t normally talk to and chatting endlessly about your favorite books.
6. You Reminisce
Just as a song or smell can immediately transport you to another time or place in your life, so can a great book. When I read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I think back on eighth grade and the person I was, who I hung out with, and how much I’ve changed since then. I can see my reactions to certain characters and events change as I’ve moved through life and matured. Revisiting old books is basically my way of tracking my personal progress as a human being.
This post probably should have been titled, My Love Letter To Books but oh well. I love you, books.