The Key

Lauren - Gilbert, South Carolina
Entered on April 7, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I love to read. I love the crisp, fresh smell of the pages bound together in a book. I love that I can read anytime, anywhere. I love the way a brand-new hardback book makes a cracking sound as I pull back its cover for the first time. Most of all, I love what I learn from books. Sometimes it’s intellectual, but sometimes it’s imaginative and inspirational. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is something to learn. I believe that reading is the key to knowledge, no matter what kind of knowledge it is.

My favorite kind of book to read is a classic. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice heralded my induction to the world of old books and their authors. From these books I have learned to be more refined and elegant. I have also learned that tempered patience and a discerning mind are vital in becoming successful in life. These novels, while they appear to be outdated, are filled with wisdom instead of how Brittany’s boyfriend cheated on her with her seemingly innocent best friend. They give me something to ponder when I finish reading them. But enough about knowledge of society. What about imagination?

As a child, I had heard of this magical place called Hogwarts and this kid named Harry Potter. I was oblivious to the importance of these strange words, but the instant I delved into J.K. Rowling’s world of wizards and muggles, I found myself captivated by the story. Every twist in the novels kept my mind in suspense as I kept turning the pages, eagerly awaiting the next plot to unravel. I love these books because they allow me to think, but also to let go and relax in a way. I don’t have to concentrate on anything intellectually, but my mind still remains active because of the suspense. These books also teach me important lessons about life such as valuing friendships and fighting for what I believe in.

Like any other Christian, I read my Bible. Not because I have to, but because it is my key to the knowledge of God’s will for me. Yes, I read it for the advice on life and for the moral guidance, but I also read it to connect with God, and that in itself is knowledge. When I read my Bible, I know God. When I know God, I know myself. Among all the things I can learn from books, this is the knowledge I cherish most.

For me, books are windows of opportunity to expand my views on life and the world. Even though I do not always accept the views presented as truth, I still recognize them and they help me understand my worldview better. The vast amounts of knowledge contained in books, no matter what genre, should always be valued and treasured by our generation and the generations to come so that we may never be ignorant.