Why I Love To Read

Why I Love To Read (And You Should, Too)


I am a firm believer that the right book can change a person's life.

paris
paris
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As an avid reader, I'm often asked why I love reading so much. For a while, I didn't know exactly how to answer this question. This prompted me to dig deep into my love for reading and pinpoint exactly what makes it my favorite pastime.

I always feel more fulfilled after finishing a great book that I do after binge-watching a TV show on Netflix. Sometimes, reading feels like self-care, like therapy. When I consume a book, it becomes a part of me. When I recommend a book that I enjoyed to a close friend or relative, it feels almost as though I'm giving them a piece of myself.

Yes, reading certainly takes more energy and brain power than sitting in front of a TV. However, I promise you that the payoff is so, so much greater. When I walk away from a book I just finished, I am taking so much more substance along with me. A good book rarely leaves me the very same person I was when I began reading it. I walk away as a slightly changed and new person with new perspectives and ideas that I may have not previously taken into account.

I suppose that I'm also tied to books in a nostalgic sense. Some of my very oldest memories take place in libraries and bookstores. When I was a little girl, trips to the library were a ritual. We'd take out as many books as we could, read them over and over, and return them all for new ones the next week.

My parents used to read me three picture books each night before I went to bed. One of my favorites was Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeleine, and I knew it by heart before I even knew how to read. Years later, my dad and I still quote Madeleine back and forth to one another every chance we have.

When I got a little older, the three nightly picture books became three chapters of a larger book. I remember sitting on the floor with my mom, both of us sobbing, as we read the last few pages of Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

I am a firm believer that the right book can change a person's life. I have read lines from books that seemed to understand me and the way I felt even more than I did. Some books have changed the way I saw certain aspects of life. I've felt some books unravel me completely and then put me back together. I read for that deep, comforting feeling of understanding that I'm not alone.

I realize now that reading isn't just some random thing that I enjoy. I love it for a very good reason: reading made me into the person that I am today. Books feel like home because my real home has always been filled with them. Books feel like love and warmth because I've shared countless wonderful stories with the people I love most. Books are my past, present, and future.

I am enamored with the way that humans are able to put precise feelings and vivid images into words so perfectly. This is one of the main reasons I love to write as well. I can only hope that one day, after filling my head and my heart with countless stories, I will be able to write my own.

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To The Person Feeling Like They're Losing Their Hometown Friends

Don't fret to much, if they are truly your best friends, you aren't gonna lose them.

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When you grow up and leave home to go to college or whatever your plans are after high school, you and your hometown best friends promise to make time for each other. You promise to always get together over breaks and to visit each other if you aren't going to the same schools or living in the same town.

But you realize over time that maybe those promises aren't gonna be kept.

Life gets complicated. School starts to become harder and harder, there are extracurriculars and work, and trying to figure out the rest of your lives; things start to get in the way. Visiting starts to happen less and less, getting together over breaks gets more complicated, you try to stay in contact but the hours in the day seem to get shorter and shorter. There are too many things that you have to accomplish in one day that it's difficult to know if you can even get together.

You start to ask yourself "Am I losing my closest friends?"

And the answer to that question is no, your lives are changing and things are starting to become real but they will always be there. Just because you don't talk all the time or you go a few months without seeing each other, they are still your friends. They will always care and always be there. Don't stress about it too much, they are always gonna be there, it's just that your lives are pulling all of you in different directions and it can get hard to keep up with everyone because you are all so busy.

You are growing up but you're not necessarily growing apart!

If they are truly your best friends they will always be there, and you there for them. As time goes on, your lives will continue to change but you are always gonna be friends. Just know that they are there when you need them, and when you do get to see each other, it's like nothing has changed and you pick up right where you left off. Your friendship is important to all of you. Don't let a little bit of silence or a busy life cause problems. You haven't lost them, trust me, you all are just figuring out life. Don't take it personally when you don't talk for a while.

"Amigas, Cheetahs, Friends for life" — Cheetah Girls

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From Another Super Invested Fan: Thank You, Marvel. Sincerely, Me.

I may just be another fan, but I really do owe it all to them.

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If I'm being honest, I have no idea how to start or finish this kind of article. I know I really wanted to write this since we're in the endgame now (literally) and how these movies have meant so much to me over the past few years. I also am very aware of the fact that countless others feel the same way I do, that I'm just another face in the sea of Marvel fans; nonetheless, my story is still just as significant as anyone's, so I decided to share it (and hopefully someone involved in these movies can read this someday).

To make a long story short, I only really started to get into the MCU when I was a freshman in high school. Sure, I remember watching bits and pieces of the original Fantastic Four and Spider-Man films and really taking a liking towards them when I was much younger, but I never thought anything more of it. I knew they were based off comic books and there were a ton of other heroes out there, and I always loved reading when I was little, but the intrigued part of me just wasn't having it yet.

I even saw the first Avengers movie in the movie theater and only remember being terrified of the jump scares of Hulk, being confused as to why Agent Coulson's "death" was so significant and wondering who the hell the purple guy was at the end. This twelve-year-old girl didn't know what would be in store for her in just two years time.

I specifically remember watching the movie that got me intrigued into the whole superhero movie universe- "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"- on a night where I was left out of a birthday celebration for a friend back then. My best friend at the time and I turned what could've been a night of sulking into a sleepover where we would also see this movie. She didn't enjoy the movie as much as I did, but those feelings that movie gave to me in that one night (adventure, excitement, hope) would spark something I didn't know I had inside of me.

That whole summer I researched everything Marvel- from X-Men to the Avengers, I read up on anything I could to understand this vast universe. I watched a movie talk show on YouTube every day before I had to go to volleyball practice to understand the exact rights of each Marvel property and to learn what's coming next in the MCU. I watched every Marvel Studios movie up until that point, started watching "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and remember eagerly looking forward to "Guardians of the Galaxy" that would be coming out that August. I also prayed and prayed that my favorite hero, Spidey, would get to join the rest of these awesome heroes one day in the MCU (and that 14-year-old girl would be over-the-moon with how that would turn around in just two short years).

Although that wasn't as short of a story as I wanted to make it, I wanted to tell it in that much detail to show just how perfect the timing of liking these movies came to me. I went back to school my sophomore year more sure of who I was and even founded best friendships that I still have from then. It became a tradition for friends and me to go see these movies opening night, and now my younger sister will be going to her first premiere screening with "Endgame." These movies became the gateway to realizing how much I absolutely love movies, television and the people who act in them, too, and this became one of the reasons why I am majoring in Communication and Media Arts today.

When you take a step back and look at what Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige have done to create a whole universe of intertwined stories where most of the movies are genuinely good movies, that's a pretty incredible thing. But when you look at it from a personal take such as mine- how it's shaped friendships, traditions, who I am- it's on a whole other level of magic.

I really do hope that one day I will be able to thank Feige and these absolutely amazing actors and actresses that portray these characters so wonderfully. Most importantly, they never fail at showing me hope whenever I need it- whether it be Tony Stark escaping terrorists in a suit made of iron, Peter Parker lifting up cement blocks toppled on top of him or Steve Rogers putting up his fists saying he could do this all day- and I will forever be grateful to them. It's a feeling of gratitude you just can't put into words; even as I'm writing this, I still feel as though I'm not saying it in the way that can properly convey how much this universe means to me.

And, of course, I wish I could thank Jack Kirby and Stan Lee myself (and every other comic book artist involved) for creating this whole thing in the first place.

So no matter what happens in this next installment where it will be the end of an era (as well as where I will essentially be saying goodbye to my childhood for real), I'm still going to obsess over Marvel like anyone else- cry, laugh, and everything in between. If anyone dies or not, it's going to hit hard, because I'm never good with change or goodbyes like these.

It's a simple "see you later," for our heroes because we are always going to have this cinematic masterpiece on film for years to come. And at the end of the day, these are just movies after all.

But for some people, like me, they aren't just that. Not by a long shot.

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