A steaming hot cup of coffee, a book in my hand and my legs stretched out. It feels like the whole world has stopped. The whole world has stopped so that I can escape into the pages and forget myself .
When I was a kid, I would never go out and play even if someone put a gun to my head much to the dismay of my father. Instead I would make a trip to the library and stack my room with books.
I would start reading and each book was my escape. I could almost climb into the book, into a different universe and cherish the characters emotions as if they were mine.
I would close my eyes and imagine what the characters would look like. I could picture English cottages with wild flowers.
Even today, when someone gives me a book I am excited to know what they got me. I wonder if it would be an altogether new world or yet another copy of an old favorite!
It is difficult for a bookworm to point out and say that they like particular kinds of books.
There are these books that leave an air of melancholy around us and move us to tears. We sob and wonder why the author had to be so cruel, so unfair and simply wish that we could somehow rewrite this book in our heads. We put these books down and say “I am never going to read a sad book again”. Anyone who reads will know that this is a promise we never keep.
There are these books which are so fascinating that we rush to complete them, to know what lies in the pages ahead, to somehow solve that mystery and breathe a sigh of relief. Sometimes we go back and re- read a few pages of these books to compensate for not devouring them completely.
And then, there are the books which I admire the most. The ones you put down and feel like the world around you has changed. There is a subtle shift in your perspective and you know that hundreds of pages ago, you were not the same person.
Some people tell me that people that it is “boring” to read a lot of books. I smile and say nothing to them. Because if they don’t like to read, how will they understand that we don’t “just” read a book?
We don’t “just” read because we travel so far with our characters that we can put an avid traveler to shame. We don’t “just” read when we pick up a copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns or The Diary of A Young Girl, because we shiver in fear as we wonder what is in store on the next page.
As we caress through each page gently, it is not just a book. It is an experience.
We live in a world where even the most important messages can be shortened to 140 characters, but the romance of reading still keeps a lot of us alive.
We read. And we read because through reading we live several lives.