Conor - River Forest, Illinois
Entered on February 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in books. There are few things you can do anywhere, save breathe and almost anywhere you go, you can read. Whether on a plane ride, car trip or a train, you can read. After a long day of school, in a boring class or at home, I can crack a book and be somewhere else. Anywhere else.

A book is power. Not only in its finality, letter printed on paper, but its versatility. A book can entertain, educate, connect you or sever you. It can promote peace, it can incite a war. A book can bring me to reality. A book can make believe. Books can change the world or they can make a bad day of mine a good one. They can comfort mourners, put a toddler to sleep or humble kings. To me and everyone, a book is everything. All at once.

Books are what I make of them. I can sit through a boring Lit class, hate what we’re reading and use Cliff’s Notes. Or, I can read every word, learn the work and thrive on it. Either way, it comes from me. It is mine, just as your experience is yours. Everyone can get a different meaning from the same words. A book is indifferent to me; whatever I make of it, it stays the same.

I like nothing more than to read for hours. After time dying in school, a book provides respite much needed. To forget about homework, quizzes and read is great. It is relaxing. With a cup of coffee and a good chair, I can leave my mundane existence and spy on communists, fight vampires and float down the Mississippi. I can be someone else; I can be myself.

A book is powerful, deliberate―like a river. It can carry me; it can drown me. Sometimes it is fast, sometimes it is slow. But it is always moving.

Why do I believe in books? Why not? With no effort, I am anywhere. I can feel wounds at the Battle of Thermopylae or I can take part in the Industrial Revolution. I can even see into the future. I can think what people thought before me. With a book, I am unlimited. I can see anything, be anything and know everything. And when I’m done I can still turn out the light and go to bed.