This year on Christmas morning, I was going through my stocking and found a present I had not asked for in years nor really thought about much. As I unwrapped the present, I began to notice an object that I had once truly treasured when I was younger. The book was a little bigger than both my hands, light in weight, and was pretty flexible. The familiar smell of the paper pages filled my nose as I unwrapped a good old, traditional, book in print form no less! I flipped through the pages and found myself embracing the feel of the book and admiring the sea of black print throughout each page just dying to be read. The book I received was After You by Jojo Moyes and is the sequel to the first book and movie, Me Before You.
When I was younger, I loved to read. Growing up, my mom always had me read a chapter a night before going to sleep. As I grew up, I usually continued this tradition, except I would get so intrigued and immersed in the story that sometimes I would stay up into the late hours of the night! When I was supposed to be in my room studying for a test or doing other homework, if I was in the middle of reading a good book, one could almost guarantee that I was taking multiple, “study breaks,” (aka not really studying), to keep reading because I was just dying to know what happened next. Reading is a past time that I wish I had not neglected these past several years.
Of course as I got older, I began reading for fun less and less. I also watch television and partake in my fair share of technology just as much as any normal person would so I cannot say I was a total bookworm. But whenever there was a good romance novel out, I usually tried to make time for it. Going to college, however, proved to make that even difficult. Sure I have been reading an abundant amount of books since I began college two years ago, but they were more books I did not want to read and just felt forced.
Whenever I have been stressed or needed a break from all of my work in college I have sought out things such as watching an episode of the show I'm watching on Netflix, flipping through the channels, checking social media pages, or texting some friends before I force myself to go back to work. However, I decided to try a new study break this semester. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to read the book I received on Christmas during break so I brought it back to school. When I began feeling overwhelmed at the thought of classes starting again an reading the syllabus for each one anticipating how hard each class would be, I already felt like I needed a break. So, I decided to sit down on my couch and just read. I cannot lie when I say that even just reading the first thirty pages in that one sitting helped me to escape the world for a little bit better than any technological device could.
It also felt amazing to be holding an actual book again instead of a kindle. Sure Kindles and iPads are convenient, but it takes away from the authenticity of what a book is meant to be! Taking my eyes off a screen too has helped me to clear my head and feel refreshed rather than drained from staring at one screen to the next. Having a passion for writing myself, it saddens me that if my work were ever to largely be publicized in the future or if I wrote a book some day, they may not even make print versions. Print may be dying, but thankfully the act of writing itself still lives on digitally. I hope more people can be remembered of how amazing it feels to sit down with a good book and a cup of coffee on a rainy day, all curled up in a blanket on your couch and just escape your world. We all live busy lives and spread ourselves too thin more often than not. So, take a break and enjoy a book the old fashion way, I know I will be!