Have you ever been on a theme-park ride that essentially transports you to another world? You forget that you are merely sitting in the seat of a large room with tons of people surrounding you. The rush of the ride is so realistic that you are unaware of almost everything surrounding you. When I read a book, this is the experience I seek to have—one so powerful it transports me to the world the author has painted with his or her words, and where I feel a reality check once I stop reading. I believe in forgetting where I am, forgetting time, and forgetting myself with every book I pick up.
As a child my mom read to me books such as: A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia and Charlotte’s Web, and I was able to escape into the most simple or complex of settings. To this day I can remember lying in bed, my mother’s words dancing around my head, trying to stay awake for the conclusion of a chapter, or resolution of plot. At that age I did not have to contemplate the author’s message about human nature, or how the use of metaphor enhanced the novel. I was purely concerned with the plot—whether or not it was good enough to keep me awake and captivated. Those childhood experiences with reading made me appreciate the effect of a good story, and I feel this is the reason I still love to read today. Getting lost in stories and words still enchants me as much as it did when I was a child.
Reading is still one of my favorite things to do. Although I am now able to discern more clearly what the author is trying to do with a story, I still yearn to be wrapped up in the plot. Unlike a ride, where the experience is only passive, I enjoy engaging myself in the narrative presented by the author. I wish to be a character alongside the main character, or even the main character, the driving force of the plot. The novel becomes a movie in my mind, and I the lead or supporting actor. Though not the most complex of books, I read the entire Harry Potter series before the movies came out. There were times during the first few movies where I could have sworn that I had already seen the part before, almost as if I was watching the movie for a second time. I know that this is due to my being absorbed in J.K. Rowling’s plot, and my passion for losing myself in books.
From cover to cover, and each turn of a page, I lose sense of my surroundings. Reading is my means of escape. By doing so I become lost in the novel’s world until I finally make the tough decision that I must stop reading. The familiar sounds of what is around me remind me that I am in actuality lying in bed, that I am not fighting evil wizards, not sleepless in New York, and not a party member in a dystopian future of caution and lies.
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