When I was little, I used to despise reading. My dad would force us to read at least 20-30 minutes, especially when we were grounded which always got me worked up. Oh, what a silly little girl I was. It wasn’t until I discovered the magic that books bring to us when we open their covers and dive right in; the world it helps us create and the reality it helps us to escape. I began reading biographies, then mystery, childhood classics, romance novels and then self-help books as I got older. Each genre has it’s own unique characteristics that draw you in.
The amount of knowledge that we’re given free access to is incredible. Books are the nourishment our brains need to expand our horizons in different ways. We embrace culture, history, and new ways of life. We start to lose ignorance, introducing ourselves to someone else’s “norm.” We gain insight to a whole other universe built just for us.
Even though I’ve always been a writer, I never fully appreciated the words of an author until recently. Now, I’m constantly on the lookout for sentences, phrases, paragraphs that want to imprint themselves into my mind. I’ll even reread books just to highlight the words that meant something to me.
“Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our heats? Can the writer renew our hope for literary forms? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so we may feel again their majesty and power?”Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
As I read other people’s words, whether they’re fiction or real, I knew that THAT’S why I love writing so much. Because it has the power to resonate with people without ever having to physically meet them or know anything about them. It has the power to inspire, to motivate and to save. Just as a surgeon has the ability to save their patient, so does the written word.
People live by mantra’s they read in a story and have it painted on the walls of their home or tattooed into the very skin of their bodies. They eat, breathe, sleep, and live by those words. I catch myself reciting certain quotes I remember from my favorite books randomly on any given day.
The beauty of imagination, it’s endless
But what’s also so fascinating about reading is the way our imaginations create a whole other dimension in our minds based off of the words on a page. It’s quite funny and maybe I’m one of the very few who do this because my mind is weird, but even though the author will describe something in great detail, my brain will somehow end up building a different version of what they intended.
But it’s still amazing to think of all the different worlds that are created with every book that we dive into. You’d think we’d have limited storage space in our brains but that’s the beauty of imagination, it’s endless. I encourage people to read more. I encourage people to write more. It’s a different form of art and expression. It’s a different form of therapy. When you allow yourself to be taken on a journey that can lead to endless possibilities without ever having to take a single step, you’d be surprised by how many find the courage to stand up and start walking by the end of it.