I enjoy reading. It is what I look forward to every day and I get excited when I am able to start a new book. I mostly read fiction but am always open to different genres, especially if I get recommendations. I read because at the same time it connects you with other people, it can distance you from everyone else. It’s a difficult thing to explain without experiencing it and it may just be a unique thing I feel, but let me try to elaborate.
First and foremost, I’d say that I don’t read books in the most traditional way. In my mind, when I picture someone reading a novel I see a person in a comfortable position, an open physical book in hand, and silence or soothing music in the room. When I read, I always have my phone out, a reading app open, and more likely than not, my AirPods in with music blasting to whatever songs I’m feeling in the mood for. I basically only read from my phone, and exclusively use Apple Books or Kindle. I have my reasons for that, of course, and I know it isn’t that healthy to have that much screen time. Especially when you consider that I obsess over whatever current media I’m into.
Whenever I start a new book I can barely function until I finish it. It sucks when I start one on a school day because I would be so distracted, so I have made it a rule not to. But when I accidentally do, I will be reading every spare minute. During passing periods, the spare time in class before the dismissal bell rings, lunch, break, you name it. As long as there is time to unlock my phone, I will read even if it’s one more sentence or to go over an entertaining line again.
Life can be exhausting sometimes. It can make you crazy, even. There will always be chores to do, work to complete, and a pressing need to attend to. Sneaking in time to do something that makes me happy is one of the most rewarding things. Even if it takes up barely a sliver of my day, it can make an impact. Having spare minutes to squeeze in an extra chapter of a great novel can absolutely turn my day around. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s true.
Reading takes me to a different place. It allows me to fade off from reality even with the bustling of life and school surrounding me. How can I focus on the pushing and squeezing of students in a hallway if my favorite character is currently in a fierce, life-changing battle with an arch-nemesis? Or how would I be able to stop for a bite to eat when the protagonist is about to have a major secret revealed? Books can suck you into their world and leave you reeling for more. The best part though, I can make many of these characters even better by imagining that certain scenarios go different ways with alternate endings.
With some of my books, I will reread them over and over. I usually stick to them when I have a school day so I don’t get as distracted by the suspense or charm. I bookmark my favorite scenes and think about them whenever I need a pick-me-up. My top 3 books/series of all time so far are the Backwards to Oregon series by Jae, “The Door at the Top of the Stairs” by Alison Naomi Holt, and the Arrow of Artemis series by K. Aten. All three of these novel/novel series give off a different ambiance and I started them at significant points in my life.
I started reading the Backwards to Oregon series at the start of the COVID-19 quarantine and it ignited my love for reading. I never hated reading as a kid but was indifferent to it. I only knew reading as a requirement and never thought of it as something to enjoy. “The Door at the Top of the Stairs” was the most unique novel I have read thus far and got me through a very difficult mental health slump. It showed me that I could get through more than I would think possible and that support is the most important thing one can have. I started the Arrow of Artemis series as a curiosity project. I read the synopsis and decided to give it a shot. The author is not the most popular and I only knew about it because I was going down a rabbit hole of reading lists and category lists. It turned out to be one of my top reads of all time. It is a wholesome read with a little bit of angst but a quote stood out to me in the third book, and I have committed it to memory.
We are all a sum of our past experiences and we carry that with us for the rest of our lives. Do not fight who you are, accept it. And if there are parts that you do not like, only then strive for change.Excerpt from The Sagittarius: Book 3 in the Arrow of Artemis Series by K. Aten
Even though relatively speaking, I am a new book lover, reading has become one of the best support systems I’ve ever had. It gets me through the day and is what I can look forward to for the rest of my life. It is a great way to get take a step back from the chaos of daily life and instead dive into a different world of your own.