When I was younger, I could not live without a book in my hands. I was reading constantly. Every week or two, I would start a new book or series, and I would always want to fangirl about it to whoever would listen. However, as the school work became harder and I became busier, I slowly stopped reading recreationally. The only books that I read at home became books from my classes, and I was barely able to get through those. Reading started to become more like a chore for me and, the more that it felt that way, the more it felt like I had lost a piece of myself.
Despite how much I wanted to enjoy reading again, I just couldn't reignite that love I used to have. I always seemed to be busy and just couldn't put the time into reading. When I did have free time, I ended up spending it on my phone or watching TV. When I got to college, I thought that I could change this habit, but it ended up remaining the same. While I did end up reading more than in high school, I was reading mainly scholarly articles that I had to discuss in the next class. I did get to read many Dostoevsky novels for one class, but it was so fast paced that I did not get to relax and fully enjoy reading the books. Sadly, my plan to get back into reading had failed.
This summer, however, was a huge turning point. I did not have too many plans over break, so I made it a big goal to get through at least a few books on my reading list. I don't know what exactly clicked in my head, but I have finally started to get back into reading, and I could not be happier.
After not reading recreationally for so long, I have noticed how much I can benefit from a good book. To me, reading is like an amazing form of therapy. It can relax me, challenge me, and make me feel a wide variety of emotions. I feel more thoughtful, empathetic, and focused after going through a few chapters. Reading also stimulates the creative side of my brain, so ideas for writing and for crafts have been much better and more frequent than before. I have also spent a lot less time on my phone scrolling through social media, which has been a huge benefit.
Reading allows me to live hundreds of lives and experience the world from my couch, and has made me look at the world with a different perspective. Although I know that I will not be able to read as much as I would like to once the summer is over, I am positive that I will not allow my passion for books to die out.