This I Believe

Rachel - Northbrook, Illinois
Entered on January 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe: Reading

As a little girl I loved spending hours alone in my room reading stories. I often read out loud to my stuffed animals and pretended to be the teacher of a classroom reading to her class. At night I would sneak a flashlight into bed with me so my mom wouldn’t catch me reading past my bedtime.

Years later and I was still reading. In middle school I started my experiences with cliquey girls, and the pressure to be popular. It was then that I started using reading as an escape without even realizing it. After a hard day at school I would come up to my room and for a few hours I left my problems behind and entered a new world. I would spend hours in solitude; just me and whatever character I happened to be reading about at the time.

Today in high school my problems are even more difficult to solve. Still, I continue to leave them for a while when I sit every night and read. It doesn’t matter how stressed I am with school or with friends, for just a few hours I can leave all of it behind and read.

I believe that reading is not just an escape from the world. On the contrary, it is the entry into a new world. Whether it is the world of the past or the world of the future, the possibilities are endless. When I read I am transformed. I leave the quiet privacy of my bedroom and enter a new world filled with friends and enemies that I can finally understand. Perhaps that is the true reason that I love to read. In stories, unlike in life, there is a good guy and a bad guy, and I can understand both of them. In the real world I am often left wondering why people do the things that they do. But in the world of novels, with the help of a narrator, I understand people’s motives and feelings even if I don’t agree with them. Reading has helped me to understand people in the real world as well. I take the knowledge gathered from my novels and apply it in my world. Reading gives me access to the extraordinary world of the unknown, and for those few hours my life is changed.