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

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


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

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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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I'm Posting On Odyssey Because Small Stories Can Make The Biggest Difference

A lot is happening in my life, a lot of big things and small things, that all deserve reflection.

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We learn things by reflection. If we go about our days, completing our tasks and checking off lists, meeting friends for coffee, or just reading a book, but don't sit at the end of the day and look back on everything, we miss out. That would be like putting a super nutritious meal in your mouth, chewing it to get the good taste, and then throwing it out and not swallowing. Nothing nourishes us if we forget about it 10 minutes after it happens.

In my life, I think some of the most important things happen in 10 minutes.

For instance, when I was on the phone with my Grandma last week, and she was telling me about all the women who are getting married in her small Kansas town, and all the bridesmaid dresses she is hemming for them. Or when I ran into my best friend unexpectedly on campus, and we got to talk in passing. These little things are consistent, pleasant, and have so much more depth than I think we know. They are now memories that I will always hold, but if I hadn't reflected on them at the end of the day, I most likely wouldn't be able to remember them now as I type this.

Currently, a lot is happening in my life, a lot of big things and small things, that all deserve reflection.

It's easier for me to reflect on the big things - like the growth in design that I've made over my two and a half years of being an architecture student, the way my family has bounced back from my Father's staph infection, the 10 months that I've been dating my boyfriend (that's us in the picture). But the smaller things that I mentioned earlier, those can tend to get lost in the craziness of it all.

I think that's why I wanted to start writing KSU's Odyssey community — It will encourage me to think deeper about those small things that I know really aren't small.

I had a volleyball coach in high school named Scott who always said, "The little things aren't little." At the time, I thought he meant that the small backward step I would take with my left foot to push off onto my right foot before chasing down a ball was usually the reason that I couldn't get to that ball. But now I understand that Scott was talking about so much more than volleyball.

So, here's to what hopefully becomes a series of articles in which I remind myself to take a step back and realize how many good things are around me, and how every single person and thing I encounter holds immense significance.

Perhaps I'll inspire you to do the same.

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10 Easy Ways To Incorporate Essential Oils Into Your Life

You're gonna wanna stock up on your favorite fragrances!

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1. Get a diffuser or 8

You know, one for each room? I highly recommend having one in a bedroom and a living area, rooms you spend a lot of time in. For me, I have mine on my desk in my office. Currently diffusing sweet orange to engage my creativity and energy. For the bedroom nothing beats smelling a calm lavender when falling asleep.

2. The new bath bomb

A few drops of a relaxing scent will take your bath to the next level! Try with a peppermint or eucalyptus to relieve tension and sore muscles.

3. Direct application

Sweet orange essential oils are known to help with headaches and stomach cramps. The next time you are faced with these symptoms try applying a small amount to your temples or abdomen.

4. Keeps things fresh and clean

A few drops of a fruity oil on a tissue to use as a facial cleanser when you need a refresher.

5. Shoes will thank you

Tea tree is known for for deodorizing and medicinal. A few drops in a show will have them smelling brand new.

6. Forget lotion

Up your massage game with oils and skip the lotion. A musky and herby blend is great for muscles and most floral scents can be most invigorating.

7. All natural

Essential oils are all natural so you can ease your mind and know you're filling your home and body with something good for you.

8. Purifying the air

Along with filling a room with a sweet scent you are purifying the air.

9. Enhancing quiet time

Relaxing sometimes can use a hand and having a diffuser nearby can help with concentration and meditation.

10. Healing powers

Got bug bites? Use tea tree. Cough? Rosemary or peppermint. Sleepless? Lavender.

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