Over the years, reading has brought me much enjoyment. When I was young, it was a way to escape the awkward teenage years. Reading about the Wakefield sisters in the Sweet Valley High series, I could almost imagine I was one of them, a popular girl at their high school. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I was also introduced to shockingly real books, like Go Ask Alice, which would haunt me for years to come, and To Kill A Mockingbird. I was equally captivated by them.
In college, my reading would become more varied and eclectic. By day, I devoured the classics, and by night, genre fiction. I’ll never forget reading Mrs. Dalloway in one sitting, not because it was due, but because I was fascinated with the characters. I loved books so much, it’s no wonder I went on to receive a Master’s Degree in literature, then teach English and Humanities. My own students weren’t as zealous as I was, but that was okay. I loved hearing their fresh perspectives on old books. Every time I taught The Great Gatsby, I learned something new.
Now I find myself talking about my own books, but reading still takes up the best part of my day. I love relaxing at night with a good book and a glass of wine. In tumultuous times, I find it is the only activity that soothes my soul.
George R. R. Martin once wrote, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” It’s so true. Classics, cozies, suspense, romances, biographies: each imparts something new, introducing me to new words and worlds. I don’t even have to like a book to enjoy it, if that makes sense, although I would say I like 99% of everything I read. It’s the experience of reading that appeals to me, an opportunity to explore a different world.
Why does reading appeal to you? What brings you back page after page? I’d love to hear your thoughts about books and reading.