I love books. In my life I’ve started far too many and finished some. It doesn’t matter though. There’s something about the feel of a book that lurches my insides in the best possible way.
I love everything about books. I love that there are more in existence than I’ll ever be able to read. I love that new books are being made each day and old books stay around to tell us histories and stories of days long gone. I love the weight of a book in my hands, the feeling of the pages on my fingers. I love the smell of books, especially the used ones.
I love the way books look. I love the way I can feel my eyes move over each word. I love the life inside them. I love that they can make me feel a spectrum of feelings and experience some experiences I’ll never be able to have in real life. I love the people living within the pages — that is, the author and the folks that author brings to life.
By now, I may sound insane to you. I basically composed a love letter. I apologize for that, but it’s kind of just how I feel. Like film and television and music and all other forms of art, books tell stories and let us experience unique situations. They can help us understand our lives better. They can help us understand other people with a more open-minded lens.
They can feed us information we didn’t even know we were interested to learn. I’m big on the classics. I buy my classics used. Used books have a story all their own, as they’ve passed through someone else’s hands and mind. It’s kind of lovely, nearly like you’re sharing an experience with a stranger.
I feel like books get a bad rep. For some reason, reading them seems like work, which is something we have enough of. In my opinion, it’s probably because, for some of us, the last time we picked up a book, we were forced to read stories about things we didn’t care about at a time when we didn’t care about anything except flirting with the opposite sex and going off campus for lunch. But things are different now. For you folks who don’t read already, try something new. When you’re looking around for something to do, try tearing your eyes away from screens.
Open a book. You may actually like it. Feel the life and anticipation and adventure floating through it, and dive in. You’ll get all the aforementioned, and while you’re at it, it’s likely your own literary skills will improve. The more you read, the faster you’ll be able to read, the more words you’ll know and understand, the better you’ll know how and where to look for the gems within the text, and the better you’ll be able to write those gems yourself.
Surround yourself with words. Surround yourself with stories in a way that’ll help build up your brain. I know we need to shut them down at times when we’re feeling just spent, but if you’ve got even the least bit of energy, give books a try. You never know what you’ll find, but I bet it’ll be inspiration.
And if you got lost in all that because you’re not used to reading and that was just too much to handle, here are some awesome things about books, in an easy-to-digest list:
1. They keep us inspired
2. They keep us open-minded
3. They keep us smart and sharp
4. They make us laugh and smile, fear and worry, cry and sigh
5. They keep our vocabularies from falling to that of a third grade student
6. They better our writing skills
7. They can be incredibly interesting and engaging, aka fun to read (don’t look so shocked)
8. They can help us understand our own situations better
9. They give us talking points for unfortunate small-talk situations
10. They keep history alive
11. They can take us on adventures, even (especially) when we don’t have the time to adventure in our own lives
12. They’re portable (just like your phones and laptops…surprise! Not getting out of this one so easy)
13. They let us experience the impossible (RIP wizarding dreams)
14. They can help us escape from even the worst of times
15. They connect us to others of all different ages, and depending on the age of the book, from all different decades and centuries
16. They let us time travel back into the past and forward into the future
17. They calm us down
18. They can double as great paper weights
19. They can be kept for life, handed down, and shared with those we love
20. Past the hour of 9 pm (time differs based on age of reader), they can induce sleep in even the most anxious of minds
21. They can provide us with comfort when we most need it
Photo via We Heart It