I’ve always been a big reader, and even as my life as gotten busier over the years, I still make time to read. What is it about simple letters on paper that makes me want to come back over and over to discover new stories?
I think it’s because when I read, I get lost in another world and get to know about other characters and their struggles. I forget about this world and my struggles for just a little bit. And when the characters are well-written, it makes me feel as if I’ve made a new friend.
I could talk about how reading is great for your mind and stimulates your brain. Which are true facts, but I don’t think that’s the reason why anyone reads (okay, maybe for super smart people). But for the average Joe like me, reading is more than an intellectual pleasure.
It’s even more than a pastime.
It’s a lifestyle.
I never get up in the morning and have to force myself to read. Maybe if you’re participating in a read-a-thon, you might have to push yourself to read more. But I don’t read because I have to; I read because I want to.
I want to find out what happens next. I want to learn more about the characters. I want to get lost in the story. Even when I’m exhausted from work, I’ll read for a few minutes before I go to bed because I have to have my “daily fix.”
Especially in school when I have a lot of required reading, I like to read my “fun” book, even if it’s just a few pages. And my weekends are definitely full of reading.
But just like I said in my post Why I Write, reading should never be a chore. If you have a headache, whether from events of the day or reading too much, put your book down and walk outside. Whenever I stay inside too long, I get headaches, and usually going outside helps. Or if you just don’t feel like reading, then you don’t have to. Sometimes when I watch wrap-up videos, and I see that someone has read 8 books that month, I get kinda jealous. I wish I could have read that much. But reading shouldn’t be a competition. Read at your own pace and in your own time. If you try to make reading about who can read the most, you won’t enjoy the books you’re reading. And you’re missing the point of reading. Do it for your own enjoyment. Not to say you read the most.
Even when I can’t physically read a book, I still listen to an audiobook. I have an hour commute to work each day, and during this time, I choose to listen to an audiobook. I started doing this when the Christmas music was on the radio (because I’m not the biggest fan), and I wonder why I haven’t done this more. I’m able to read so many more books by taking this time to read when otherwise I wouldn’t be able to. And I know the pronunciations to all the fantasy books I read.
There’s several different places you can access audiobooks, the most popular one being Audible. I choose to get audiobooks at my local library because they have a large selection and I don’t feel like paying for Audible. You can also find audiobooks on YouTube. I have listened to them this way before. I’ve found a lot of classics on YouTube, but I have also found some YA, like Throne of Glass, Six of Crows, and Passenger. With YouTube, it’s kinda a hit and miss, but it’s worth a shot.
I will never stop reading because without it, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to World War II or Hogwarts or Camp Half-Blood. I may have never done much physical traveling, but I have been dozens of places thanks to reading. And I wouldn’t give that up for the world.
I’m thankful that I have the ability and desire to read. It’s been a great blessing in my life, and I’m so glad that I’ve continued reading through the different seasons in my life.
Stay tuned on Friday when I talk about the different types of villains and how these types of characters can improve your novel.
Until next time, may you get closer to finding your Narnia and don’t forget to help others find theirs.