I’ve always been a book lover. At the age of 11, I got my own library card and started checking out books from my local library. I would beg my dad to drive me over there, then I'd spend hours combing through books. Many of these checked out books turned into overdue fees because I never returned them… but that’s another story. I was in love with the stories I read about people who seemed like they could be my friends, and adventures I felt like I could someday be a part of. The books made me feel happy and took me away from my own life, insecurities, and whatever was going on at home.
As I grew older, though, I had less time for reading. Or, I made myself think that at least. Between homework, boyfriends, and new TV shows, I didn’t make reading a priority. It’s so easy to say “I don’t have time for X, Y, Z…” when you have so many things going on in your life. But it really all comes down to priorities.
I realized that I was spending way too much time on social media, scrolling through models’ photos and stalking random celebrities. This is all too normal now. It seems like everyone around you is constantly scrolling, and you feel the need to scroll too. I knew I was addicted to my phone and that it had become a serious problem. I can only imagine how much time I've wasted mindlessly scrolling online! So when my father gifted me an eReader for Christmas last year, my priorities began to shift.
I used to walk around with my phone in my hand at all times, but now I’ve replaced it with my eReader or a physical book. This small change makes all the difference. I don’t want to scroll through social media when I have a few minutes to spare. I don’t think that I’m missing something crazy by not being active. It just doesn’t matter that much to me anymore. I’ve rediscovered my love for reading, and I am not going back. Having my book in hand for when a spare moment comes, I've been able to replace all those minutes I would've spent scrolling on my phone with mindful reading. Reading lets me learn things that social media could never teach me; I can go through books in no time, and gain so much from them. I know that people's’ posts will be there whenever I log on to Instagram next.
I found that when I switched my priorities to reading instead of scrolling, I felt happier. I found my love for books again in the same way that I did when I was younger. I take pride in finishing a book in two or three days, knowing that it’s a result of not wasting my time on my phone. In the last eighteen days, I’ve read four novels. Four novels! This was something I never thought was possible before because I “didn’t have the time”. But the truth is that we all have time. Whether you make gaining more knowledge a priority or not is entirely up to you.