This I Believe
When I was younger, reading was a struggle for me. I hated to read. It wasn’t that I didn’t have an interest in the stories, in fact I loved stories; it was because all the stories that I could read by myself were one dimensional. I hated this because my wild imagination was hungry for complex and intricate stories. Then I discovered a series of books that swept me away into another world, a world of magic, a world that was exciting and complex, a world that meant something to me. This world was created by Brian Jacques, the world of Redwall. The Redwall books were the first books that I ever loved. At first they were a struggle for me to read, but before I knew it I stopped thinking about it as words that I had to read, but a flowing story. After awhile It became fun for me to read. Brian Jacques’ novels opened up the world of reading to me. I started to devour books of all kinds, one by one.
Now, to me, reading is essential. I read about all types of things, and when I’m finished a book, if I don’t have another one waiting to be read, I feel strange and lost. It is as if I’m missing a part of myself. When I near the end of a book I love, I worry that it won’t wrap-up the way I want it to. When I finish a book I love, I sometimes obsess over it. I run the whole story through my head over and over. It is like I am addicted to the story. I analyze every aspect and idea of the book, down to a word.
Every book has a meaning or lesson. Whether it be a memoir, a book woven with magical aspects, a book of a fictional story in a real place and time,a book about the present, a book about a real event, or any other kind of book, every one has a story that can bring to light issues of the world. A book can make me look at things in a different way. It can make me see ideas in a new light. Books are powerful and they have profound meaning. Books expand my imagination, my knowledge and my love for the world.
When I’m reading I can lose myself in a story, I can block out the rest of the world with reading. In times when I feel stressed or sad, I use reading as an outlet. It can shield me from all my problems, if only for a short time. A good book lets me calm down and regroup myself to help me face my struggles. Anything that can do that has power, a power that very few things have, and it is not only because of the story, but because the constant rhythm of one word after another. The simple rhythm is relaxing. Stories are just a pattern of words flowing along in unison, creating a unique type of therapy.
A book can leave me feeling sad, happy, disappointed, or excited for a next installment. Reading can envelop me, calm me, and then there are the obvious reasons for reading; entertainment, information. To me, books, stories and the authors that write them are amazing. Without words or stories this world would be empty, and I with it. I would have no emotion or feeling. Words, stories and books are our way of being informed and because of such, they are highly influential to us. They shape my ideas and thoughts. They create a way for us to share our ideas with others. They helped me grow into who I am . I believe in reading and the power it holds.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.