Books are amazing.
There’s a feeling that I wish I could describe to folks who don’t enjoy reading. The indescribable joy of picking up a great story and diving headlong into the characters and narrative. The joy of disappearing, of being drawn in, and falling in love with a good tale. Those are priceless.
I’ve had friends over the years who weren’t into books, and as time has gone on I’ve seen a few of them convert to enjoying reading. The difference, each time, has been the need to find a story that worked for them. Not all books are alike, and not all for for me. In fact, most books will never match the type of reading I’m into. And that’s okay. I believe that many people just haven’t found the right books yet.
As life goes on I find that I have less and less time to waste on books that aren’t worthwhile. I no longer force myself to finish a story, to treat it as homework or a school assignment. Instead I pick up books that challenge my curiosity, push my creativity, or draw me in for a break in another world. Books that do that are priceless, and worth their weight in copper.
There’s been a few great fiction and non-fiction stories that have completely taken me in over the years, and I continue to ride the high of that as I search for the next great piece of literature. It feels like an addiction, as I keep starting new books to fall back into their worlds. Every now and then, a few times a year if I’m lucky, I find those worlds again and disappear. It’s such a privilege, and it’s part of the reason I write. I want to create worlds similar to the ones I’ve loved throughout my life.
I remember one time, I’d finished reading The Road. It’s a brutal story, one of survival, love, and hardship. I don’t necessarily recommend it, but I can’t say it didn’t impact me. My son was young then, a baby still, and hearing a story of a father trying to save his son amidst a fallen world hit home for me. The story moved me, I felt part of the pages, and wanted the characters to thrive. When I finished I felt completely raw and emotional. At the time I was working in an office, and when I reached the last chapter of the audiobook, I had a strange moment. I pulled out my headphones and looked around at the room. Several others sat with me, all working away. I’d been working too (one of the perks of being a designer), and I felt a disconnect, like I’d been through something in a world apart, and no-one else could realize what I’d experienced. Books do that, and that’s why I’ll always keep looking for more stories, and try to create a few of them myself.