Why read? The simple answer to this question is because I enjoy it. I enjoy being able to sit down, be silent, and have an entire world unfold in my mind. How I decide to give these characters faces, personalities, lives, and above all, give these words life is all up to my imagination. However, the reason I read now as opposed to why I didn’t read before is different. It’s honestly a lifestyle change that I think is worth sharing.
I started reading with the intent I do now in the middle of 2012. During that time, a lot of my life had changed, and the events that transpired made me realize that the things I used to get enjoyment from weren’t bringing me joy anymore. There were the TV shows I watched, the games I played, and Twitter. All of these things didn’t negatively impact me in the slightest, but I wanted to explore what else I could do and how I could prolong the excitement that I felt when watching a movie based in a different world or reading a blog post about new science leading to unexplored possibilities. Suddenly, books began to play a part.
Books have, for the most part, recently replaced a large part of wasted time. They’ve taken me from saying “I don’t know what to do now” to “I should finish Coraline!” With a medium like books that allows a story to fully evolve within your own mind, you can’t let them fall by the wayside. Movies manage to capture that feeling of a “new world” and let you lose yourself in them, but they completely remove the self-created originality that occurs when reading books. The words on the page of any novel will correlate to a thought in your mind, and you end up creating the scene for yourself, seeing it play out. Reading is more or less an adventure of your own imagination where the script is given to you, but you’re the director. You control how it looks in the end even though the writer has already given you the needed components.
With books, I feel as if my time is used pushing the possibilities of my imagination. It’s not something I do because I’m bored, but rather something I do that keeps me from becoming bored. Before, it was all about how I needed to fill time with a task. Be it YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Digg, I wasn’t satisfied with how my time was being spent. When I pick up a new book, I fall into the pages. I fall into a world that’s foreign to my own, and I get to experience it. My mind changes, and my creativity falls in line not with how I can spend time but what I’ll spend time with. Seeing the places, people, and ideas that these authors have crafted lets my creative process breathe.
Reading is something that was once considered to be worse than the plague to me. Literary reading always seemed like a bore without much to gain, but it wasn’t until I had the choice of what to read (and when) that I started to enjoy it. I started enjoying that movie that played in my head, and I started enjoying that time I had in pure silence. In the end, reading has become something that lets my mind wander into areas unknown. It lets my imagination and my life align.
With my writing here and reading there, I know what I am doing and what I could potentially be doing. I could be doing something new, reimagining something, or exploring fields I’ve never previously ventured to. These writers create new worlds and play God in them. As a writer, I play myself, yet the world bends and molds in my own hands when it comes to ideas that I give birth to.