I became an avid book reader beginning in my mid-twenties, a passion I consider having adopted a little late in life. I have yet to forgive myself for not embracing it a long time ago. However, I have grown to love reading. Before now, the idea of settling down to read a book for hours on end seemed mildly daunting; I was too restless. I couldn’t bear to fix my attention on a book for any amount of time that may have seemed fairly normal to the average person.
When I chose to start reading anything other than the entries on a gossip blog or my Twitter feed, it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Slowly but surely, I developed a love for books and patience for reading.
I started off not knowing what kind of books would interest me, and so I read anything. I sifted among different books: the ones that made me laugh out loud, the ones that made me think deeply, the ones that kept me turning pages and losing sleep because the suspense was crazy, and the ones I abandoned halfway through because I didn’t get them. Eventually, I developed preferences for authors and genres. I particularly enjoy nonfiction because I picked up reading as an interest at a time in my life when I sought knowledge about human behavior. Doubtless, some authors do a great job in educating or entertaining readers on the human nature and experience using fictional narratives. But I prefer nonfiction because I prize enlightenment over entertainment. I just enjoy being educated on a specific topic in a direct way.
Reading books has helped me change the way I think; although I still maintain a level of skepticism on some issues. I’ve allowed reading to expand my mind and widen my knowledge in ways my personal experiences haven’t. When in doubt, or even in need of solace, I read a book.
I find camaraderie just reading what other people write; I realize my experiences, struggles, and quirks aren’t unique to me. That moment when it feels like an author is telling your story in his/her book is simply beautiful in a way that inspires wonder. Reading books have taught me to be empathetic. I learned to get out of my head, which is where I spend a crazy amount of my time.
In reading books, I discovered and revel in my love for the clever, intricate use of words, especially in describing emotions and beauty. I love the rush of excitement and anticipation I get when I skim the blurb on a book I’m about to read. I never knew books could get me so excited. Reading has come to be a passion that has helped soothe my very anxious nature. A book (okay, a chapter) a day keeps the stress away.
When people say they don’t enjoy reading, I think it’s mostly because they haven’t found what interests them. The trick is to read widely at first. In doing so, one might find what interests one. Books exist for anything you’re trying to understand – money, business, love, self-improvement. People have researched and written about what you want; you just have to find it.
Books have left me feeling forever curious about life, and I don’t mind. In fact, I love it.
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