Reading is awesome

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A packed wooden bookshelf, with colourful books shelved every which way, and in every possible space Pixnio

Let’s carve out some time to enjoy some great reads

It’s time that we all start picking up novels again.

When I was a kid, February was my favorite month because I could win prizes at school for doing the one thing I loved most – reading. “I love to read” month was my favorite time of the year because I constantly had my nose in a book year round. I loved the feeling of entering someone else’s world and experiencing a life so different from my own. The act of getting comfortable and having the power to escape reality became my safe place to fall when the real world felt like too much to handle.

As I got older, as well all do, I stopped reading as things like friends, Instagram, video games, and Netflix became my most valued pastimes. I honestly don’t think that I picked up a novel between the ages of 14-19, as in my mind I had “better things to do” or “didn’t want to commit to 400 pages.” I had the idea in my mind that reading was a chore, and I fell out of love with the one thing that I once loved dearly.

This generation is surrounded by things that provide us with instant gratification, and for many, that constant stimulation has made us seek out the “easy way” – such as just reviewing book summaries rather than reading the novel for a class. Having the ability to bypass the time commitment of reading a novel, paired with the ability to access pleasure just by opening Instagram – I convinced myself that reading was just a thing of the past and I gave myself the title of a non-reader.

I no longer carry that title and in every free moment I can find I have my nose in a book.

Reading allows you to travel anywhere in the world and be an active participant in someone’s story. Whether reading a fiction or non-fiction novel, you are experiencing the life of the characters – which will inspire you to be more empathetic and understanding of the experiences of those around you in real life.

Living through the state of the world we are all currently experiencing together, this is the perfect time to have empathy and understanding towards others, to connect with each other through stories and shared experiences. A getaway from reality is something that we all could use in these times of strained communication and isolation, and being able to travel the world, make friends of the characters and fellow readers, and learn something new is one way that we can take control of our time and allow ourselves to slow down and take a break from the news.

In a world that is so uncertain and divided, let’s unify through literature and all get lost in a book.

The novel that made me fall in love with reading again is The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill. The heart-breaking love story of the main characters, Rose and Pierrot, who are two orphans with peculiar talents and impeccable chemistry, takes you on a journey like no other. This story captured me in a way that I did not know was possible in any life other than my own. [With a content warning for sexual assault and drug addiction if you’re looking to pick up your own copy].

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