I love to read. Give me a book – any book – and I will devour it. Television is fun to watch in the afternoons, the internet is an infinite information resource, and movies can be absolutely magical, but there is nothing in this world that rivals the pleasure that I get from reading a book. I love the fact that I can be squeezed between two friends on the school bus, sitting in a noisy cafeteria, or crouched on the floor among the shelves of the local library, and not really be there all at the same time.
When I am holding a book in my hands, I feel as though I am transported into a universe composed of an alternate reality. I get to experience the lives of the story’s characters right alongside them. I see what they see, I think what they think, and I feel what they feel. It doesn’t matter how bad a day I am having, I always forget my troubles when I pick up a book and visit other worlds.
But, before you get the impression that the only reason that I love to read is because I have some kind of pathetic need to escape from the real world, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.
For me, reading isn’t about escaping from life, it’s about expanding reality. Every time I finish a book, my entire being is flooded with such intense happiness that it feels as if my heart is literally dancing with pleasure inside my body. Because…
every book that I read reaffirms for me the existence of one basic truth: that there are an infinite number of ways to live one’s life.
It is a lesson that I find not only exciting and inspiring, but also essential for my very existence. For, although I can’t control the fact that days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, the fear that I feel pressing on my chest whenever I think about having to grow up (and grow old) is significantly reduced thanks to the fact that every one of the books that I have ever read remains stored for eternity in my memory banks.
I refer to them all of the time. They help me to understand who I am, and they remind me of the potentially awesome possibilities that adulthood will bring. That is, so long as I work hard and continue to participate in the creation of my life. And, as long as I don’t die first – like my mom.