As some of you may have realized, I’ve been in a little of a reading slump lately. Whilst this isn’t rare for me, I’ve been reflecting a lot on WHY I love reading so much, and how it’s affected me throughout the years. I know that there a lot of studies and articles out there on the benefits of reading, and whilst they’re all true, I also believe that reading doesn’t affect anyone in the same way entirely, just like how we all read the same book differently. So, here’s how reading has affected me, and what it’s taught me:
- It made me feel less alone.
During some of the toughest times in my life, people would come and go, but books would always be there. Their stories, the characters within them… all of this made me feel like I was not totally alone.
- It made me accept all my little quirks.
As you know, stories are not always about the same type of person… they are about different people from different background and with different personalities just living their lives. By seeing these characters living their lives, finding love, and being accepted; it made me accept myself and all my little quirks, that they’re not something to hide away or be embarrassed about.
- It made me more empathic & understanding.Experiencing all these emotions and challenges that these characters go through in books, and how they are affected, made me more empathic and understanding towards other people. We’re all fighting our own battles, and we shouldn’t be judging others for the paths they’re taking, especially when the path is different from the norm.
- It made me less afraid to experience new things.Change is something that I always struggled with… even now. However, by experiencing it from a number of people’s perspectives, and seeing all these characters overcome their obstacles and challenges makes me think; is change really that bad?
- It made me more aware of the dangers around me.When I was younger, I was super naïve, and it some cases, I still am… however, reading has helped me realize that things aren’t always as they seem. People can lie, and can hurt you, and shouldn’t be trusted wholeheartedly straight away.
- It made me more aware of the bigger picture.This is a bit similar to the previous point…. I struggled to see past what I wanted to see for quite a while when I was younger. Books made me more aware of how my actions and words affect others around me, and not just myself.
- It made me feel stronger and gave me hope.Seeing characters go through several challenging and hurtful situations gave me the strength to go through and move on from my own troublesome times.
- It made me more realistic, but not pessimistic.As well as struggling to see past what I wanted to see, I was also very optimistic, and unrealistically so. I was lost in my own imagination and thoughts a lot, and that gave me a very warped vision of the people and world around me. Reading books made me more aware of my relationships with other people and how the world really is.
- It made me fully realize and appreciate the power of words and made me want to try writing myself.
- Writing stories is something that I always wanted to try and do. I haven’t tried to write anything seriously in a number of years. It was when things got really bad personally and I wasn’t reading as much as I used to. Sometimes I try, but it’s not the same, and for the most part I’m just afraid of not being as good as I used to be. But writing here, not as often as I’d like to admittedly, but when I get the chance to, really helps, and makes me want to try again.
Stories, words, and books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Books have always been there, and they have always managed to take me out of a negative mindset and see the beauty of things and life. And nowadays, where a lot of people are refusing to see beyond their own concerns and needs, reading and stories are needed more than ever – and I’m happy to be part of a community where we’re devoted to spreading the love for books – and all the good things that come with it.
That’s it from me for today. Hope you enjoyed it! How has reading affected you and helped you? Let me know in the comments below!
Written by: Alexia DeBono
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