Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why I Read

 Life is hard.

Ups. Downs. Restless limbos. Good times. Bad times. Stressful times. Carefree times. Sometimes it's as if life (sadistic bitch/bastard that it can be) randomly scoops you into a black-out box, shakes until you can't breathe and are almost in pieces, and then it sits back and waits to see how long it'll take you to get back on your feet. The only thing you can usually count on is that it'll get harder before it gets better. That almost makes me sound like a pessimist, doesn't it? Really though, I'm a silver-linings girl through and through. I always try to look for the good with the bad, but sometimes it's can be tough.

Sometimes we need help getting through the dark places, a boost to get us back on their feet, a way to remind ourselves that things will get better. Sometimes we just need that moment, that breather, to forget how crazy our lives are (good or bad) and just...escape.

I've always been a dreamer. Sort of fits with my career choice :) and I haven't always needed a reason to read. I adore falling into a book because I love reading, discovering new places, going on wild adventures, and laughing and smiling my way through the pages in between real-life responsibilities and obligations.

Photo by El coleccionista de instantes
But life has given me a much deeper appreciation for reading than I had growing up. It's taught me that sometimes we need time-outs more than kids do. We need a way to release some of our stress, to feel positive emotions, to experience something that can, however briefly, give us back that sense of control in our lives or inspire hope.

Reading can offer that moment of quiet when you lock yourself in the (closet, bathroom, porch...) because you're certain your kids are under the control of the next full moon and wouldn't know how to quiet down without ropes and duct tape.

Reading can make those moments of sitting next to a loved one in the hospital a little more bearable, make it a little easier to send positive thoughts out into the universe despite an unfavorable prognosis.

Reading a favorite comfort read when bad news has just been dropped in your lap (pay cut, layoff, car broke down) may remind you that you still have the strength inside to claw your way back up and keep going.

I read for the smiles and laughter, the tears and heartbreak, the hope and excitement, and every other way it restores my optimism when life is just...hard.

What about you guys? Has reading helped you through a tough time? Made your day a little brighter? What was the last book you read that made the difference between a good day and a bad day?


Skylar Kade said...

Without fail, the one thing that will always cheer me up on a crappy day is buying a new book. Or walking through a library or used bookstore. Not a new bookstore, no... they're too sterile and bright and shiny. But reading a book, or being around well-loved books, is like a slice of heaven...or valium, your pick.

Erin Nicholas said...

This. All of this. Yes, yes yes. And I'm like you Syd... I've always loved it, always appreciated the get-away, but as I've gotten older and those troubles get a little bigger and deeper, that appreciation has absolutely grown.

Love this post :)