My whole life I have been an avid reader. The amount of books I’ve been able to consume has varied my whole life, depending on how much school work or work I’ve had, or the ages and stages of my children. Recently, I’ve been able to read more despite being in the deep trenches of stay-at-home mom life, which has brought me a lot of joy. In 2022 I was able to read 53 books!
There are so many reasons to love reading and books. One of those reasons is the sheer fact that reading is educational. It doesn’t have to be a textbook or self-help book to deem itself educational. Consuming words on a page is inherently so. Taking the time to read word for word a romance novel or thriller, or anything else, is exposing you to different writing styles, vocabulary, metaphors, similes, and so, so much more. You don’t have to be noting all of the foreshadowing and imagery in the book, because somewhere in your brain you are internalizing it. You can thank your English teachers for that!
I love researching and learning as much as I possibly can. I would be content to take college classes forever! But reading a book every day is a cheaper alternative, instead.
Reading takes you places. I know, I know. I sound like a cheesy poster hanging up in your middle school library. It probably has some fantasy-looking tree and weird bubbly letters, too. But if you can cut through all the cheese, it really is true.
My favorite example of this was back in November when the weather here in Idaho started getting really cold and snowy, the good old seasonal depression started kicking in for me. Typically I combat this with some exercise, but we were on random virus #4 and I couldn’t stay healthy long enough to even think about walking around the house, let alone the block. My next solution involved spending a few days on the couch with a vitamin D supplement, some cold medicine handy, and an Elin Hilderbrand book in my hands. Elin Hilderbrand writes books set on the island of Nantucket. Reading about twin sisters on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard spending their days on the beaches and enjoying the sunny weather made me feel like I was there for a time. Elin brought me to the summer days on the islands when I couldn’t go myself.
I’ve also enjoyed some time in Australia, Oxford, New York City, India, Europe during WWII, and many, many other places and time periods. If you give them the chance, reading really can take you wherever you want to go.
For me, reading is also an escape. When life is overwhelming, noises are too loud, and I just can’t handle it all anymore, I always know that there is a book I can escape to for a time. I can leave my worries behind and completely envelope myself into a storyline until I’m ready to head back and face everything that lies before me. Reading really has become a great addition to my mental health.
Books of all sorts have always been such a staple in my life. I could not imagine a world where I wouldn’t be able to pick up a good book and start reading! Instilling a deep love and appreciation for books in young readers is an important job as well, and a blog post will be coming in a few weeks talking more about that. Don’t miss it.