Today is National Book Lovers Day so I thought today would be a great day to talk about why reading is important to me and why it should be important to everybody also.
I have always read but during secondary school I found my passion in fantasy and crime books. My first fantasy book was “Bitten” by Kelley Armstrong, the first book in her women of the otherworld series following the only female werewolf as she returns to her pack. I was taken in completely, the women and the issues they faced were real and it was the first time I had read a series where the women had power and were able to use that power. The men in the series were also powerful but neither of the genders were higher than one another, they were equal and that was a huge moment in my reading life. The first crime book was “Play Dead” by Richard Montanari, a crime novel with a psychological twist. At the centre of the novel we have Jessica and Kevin, detectives tasked with solving the murder. I didn’t realise that this book was fourth in a series when I bought it but it was written well so I didn’t feel that I missing out on anything. Their backstory was drip fed throughout and their current situations were realistic. While I may have read better crime books since then this one will always stay with me due to the characters relationship with one another and how their work and home life intersects.
You may not know these books or authors or have any desire to read their books but that is the amazing thing about reading. Everybody has their own individual experience with a book and most people can recite their favourite and first books instantly. Each book leaves a mark on you. I recently saw a picture that said a book is like a horcrux, we leave a little bit of ourselves inside one when we finish. I can’t state enough how true this is. Even if you don’t like the book there is still and emotion there within it. A part left behind.
Books shape and help us understand parts of ourselves that we may not have yet had the chance to explore in a safe environment. Books explore all aspects of life from the imagined to the real. As a young girl going through some emotional times these books provided the escape that I needed until I was ready to finally deal with my issues externally. Even now when I need to distract or distance myself I will pick up a book. This may be a book that I have read before and I need the comfort of the characters to help me or, I will jump into a new book with a new world to take me away.
Reading has shaped my life so much that now, as a twenty two year old, I want to write. It’s that simple I want the worlds that swim in my head and distract me to help others escape, escape from whatever they are dealing with or perhaps just looking for a quiet evening in. Books are incredible vessels transporting us to new worlds and I hope that one day my book will help others like my books have helped me.