Top 5 Tuesday is a meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm where different topics are explored each week. Go check out her weekly prompts, and this weeks list because she’s got some great reasons for reading on there! Remember if you participate in the meme to link her back!
So, I think with this weeks T5T topic “reasons you love to read”, we’re going to see a lot of similarities among readers. The fact that book lovers all find comfort in books for similar reasons absolutely tickles me. That so many people around the globe feel the same way I do about something as beautiful as literature I find so wonderful.
JOY, SELF-CARE & HAPPINESS
I put all these under one category because I feel they’re all related. I’ve been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember. I’ve carried a book with me, everywhere I go, for as long as I can remember. The two constants in my life have been books and anxiety. I was diagnosed with a chronic panic attack disorder in early elementary school. Over time and with help, I managed to balance the fears that triggered the panic attacks (dying) and things got really good for me. Then college happened. College was honestly the worst years of my life. That’s not to say I don’t have any fond memories of that time, because I totally do but overall it was a pretty dark time for me. I stopped reading as much, started self-medicating with alcohol and really lost myself. It wasn’t until I started seeing a doctor and regulated my system with medication that things smoothed out. I’ve since (with the help of a doctor) not needed that medication anymore and re-found my equilibrium and feel generally well-balanced, if not a bit anxious most of the time. The one constant I had, through both the good and hard times of my life has been books. They’re important for my *me time*, for my mental well-being and opening up a fresh book, a new story, full of new perspectives has always brought me a deep joy and a sense of balance.
You read that right. I think I could write a 600 page thesis on how romantic books are. One of the things that just tickles me the most about reading, is the ability to go anywhere, during any time, on this earth or beyond. When you read a book written in 1804, to me, that feels as close to real time travel as we’re ever going to get. This author, who wrote down these thoughts, having no idea who would read it in the future has transcended time and is hand delivering you their own thoughts and visions, directly into your mind. Not only that, but we are able to see into the mind of other people. The way they think, their unique imaginations and thoughts about the world. Or, the creation of an entirely new world. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always been so drawn to fantasy. While the world we live in is endlessly intriguing, there’s something so freakin’ NEAT about being able to travel to an entirely different world, birthed just from the imagination of someone else. I don’t consider myself a particularly creative person – I’m logic based and that’s never been my forte – so I get super amped on creative, thorough world building.
I saw an article the other day about things you’ll regret when you’re older and one of those things is taking education for granted. That at one point in your life, you spent 8 hours a day, dedicated solely and completely to learning. I absolutely took that for granted throughout grade-school and I wish I could take that back. Learning is literally the coolest thing living creatures are able to do. While I may not be in school right now, it’s an important pillar of my belief system that I never stop learning. Whether that’s through podcasts about new and interesting topics I don’t have experience with, through lectures like TEDTalks, or from people I respect around me – I’m always trying to absorb new information. What’s so wonderful about reading is that even if you’re reading fiction, you’re learning new things. Whether that’s about writing, or viewing the world through a new perspective you might’ve not been otherwise exposed to, the options are limitless. When you step outside the realm of fiction, the possibilities grow even further (I will not get into the science of how something limitless can grow even more, just go with it)! You can literally find a book on anything and immerse yourself in something new. Life presents endless opportunities for growth and learning and books are just one of the many ways we can broaden our horizons.
There’s something called “deep reading“, in my past I personally have called this the “reading zone” and it’s my absolute favorite place to be. By definition, deep reading is “slow, immersive, rich in sensory detail and emotional and moral complexity”. However, for me it’s always been the state I try to reach every time I read. Whether the TV is on, music is playing, I was sitting on a bus to and from middle school or in a crowded bar, everything would drop away and I couldn’t hear anything. Instead of feeling like I’m reading the words, it feels like I’m watching the scenes play out before my eyes. My husband makes fun of me because I’ll shrug my shoulders, shake my head, and make different facial expressions based on what I’m reading in a story. When I read, my goal is always to fully immerse myself in a story – skim reading is tempting, especially when I was getting close to failing my GR goal last year but I always try to avoid it. Books, for me, are the perfect escape from whatever situation I’m in, and sometimes from life in general when it’s beating me down. However, that’s not to say they’re only an escape in bad times – because even in my happiest moments, I love to escape into a story!
CONNECTION (I.E. FWENDS)
Since starting my blog, really upping my game on Goodreads, and reading considerably more than I ever have before, the connection I feel to others has grown immensely. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve always been a reader – my friends and I have had book clubs together and my sister and one of my best friends have always come to me for recommendations. However, that’s grown more than I could’ve imagined since I started reading even more. My FAVORITE question for people to ask me is what to read next. There’s something absolutely intoxicating about getting to re-live a book through someone else’s excitement and eyes. I had my cousin text me the other day totally out of the blue just to ask me what to read. I have friends on instagram messaging me telling me they’ve read a book I mentioned in my story, or asking me for recommendations. I’ve made wonderful connections through the wonderful Traveling Sister’s groups and even more through blogging and GR in general. The connection I feel to other book lovers, and people who read in general fills me with satisfaction and joy. I love sharing my love of books and I have a lot of enthusiasm to share!
I feel like I’m the most long winded person in history! But there you have it folks – my Top 5 Reasons to Love Reading! What are some of your top reasons you love to read? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!
PS I’ve been kind of slacking on reading – I’ve been nesting in my house, doing lots of yoga, cooking and cleaning but I swear I’ll have a review up Thursday!