The Cheapest Travel Ticket You’ll Ever Need
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The Cheapest Travel Ticket You’ll Ever Need

How reading transcends space, time, and expands the imagination (and isn’t just kale).

The Cheapest Travel Ticket You’ll Ever Need

This is a response to Why Should You Start Reading Again?.

It’s really easy for someone like me (a writer and avid reader with a journalism degree who works at an independent bookstore) to tell someone who hasn’t read a book since they last had a book log in middle school that reading is fun and good for you. And I totally understand that it may be easy to tune me out.

But I really hope you don’t!

While reading may have been a skill that we were all required to learn and found relatively easy to practice and maintain throughout early grade school, it is something that naturally grows harder to do as we age. It becomes harder to make time to sit down and read the instruction manual for a new toaster, let alone a whole freaking novel!

So for those of you that may feel intimidated by getting back into the habit of reading, here are a few reminders why it’s such a cool practice and my two cents for how to start again.

For starters, reading can take you anywhere in the world without ever leaving your couch. And that’s pretty freaking cool if you think about it. You can read about a family’s life in Argentina in the morning, take a trip to London for tea time, and top it off with ghost stories across the United States before bedtime. You may be thinking, “Mia, I can hop on a plane and go see and experience different countries. I don’t need a book.” And if you’re fortunate enough to be able to spend the time, money, and resources to travel the world, that’s fantastic! But for a vast majority of the population, that isn’t a feasible option. Reading is an opportunity for them to experience different cultures and opinions without having to leave their home. Additionally, I like to mention the following little tidbit:

Not only can you travel the world, you can travel through time.

Yep you heard me. Reading is a superpower that can actually help you master time travel. Pretty cool, huh? You can read stories about ancient civilizations and historical movements. You can also read stories through a nonfiction lens, or through a totally new perspective in the form of a fictional character. So not only can you travel through time and space, but the possibilities for the stories you read are infinite (truly only limited by fellow human’s imaginations).

As far as tips to get back into the swing of reading goes, I have one little analogy to share.

Reading is like having an entire buffet of food waiting to be tried by you. Endless dietary options, endless flavor combinations, endless tasty morsels to be eaten.

However, the reality is that many adults experience reading as the equivalent to being force-fed kale because it's “gOoD fOr tHeM!!” Sure it might be nutritious and healthy, but if it’s prepared in a way you hate (or let’s face it, you just don’t like this particular nutritious vegetable), the likelihood of you continuing to eat it is slim.

So then, it’s not really beneficial if you’re not consuming it regularly (or at all). But there are various healthy foods that can be prepared in a multitude of ways so that you can find the ways you actually enjoy eating.

The same goes for reading.

There are so many books out there, it’s counterproductive to try and force yourself to read what “everyone else is reading” or materials that you think reading “looks like.”

So find what tastes good to your soul to read and start there.

Maybe you like reading screenplays of your favorite films. Maybe you like reading old diaries you found in your grandparent’s attic. Maybe you like reading adventure novels. Maybe you like reading the personal ads in the newspaper. Maybe you like reading strictly autobiographies. Maybe you like reading reviews of sugar-free Haribo gummy bears on Amazon (seriously read these if you haven’t, they’re great comedic relief). All of those are great because they are what YOU love to read. So read on. And perhaps one day, you will venture out to other genres and topics and places.

Just remember, we might not all like kale but it’s not the only healthy thing to eat out there.

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