There are many different reasons why I read, and as I’ve grown those reasons have changed and evolved. I read as a child because the worlds I read about were more like the ones in my imagination than the one I lived in. As a teen, I read books to find characters I could relate to. As a young adult full of wanderlust I read as a more affordable form of travel.
Now as an adult and a book blogger I read for all those reasons and also to review books for others. Reviewing has changed the way I read books, I analyze and I critique where I didn’t before and it has made me a better reader as well as a better writer. However, it doesn’t feed my soul the way reading used to.
For the last ten years, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression, sometimes worse than others. Reading has almost always helped me in those times, bringing me laughter or simply giving me a temporary escape. Lately has been one of those worse times and I found reading and blogging to be a struggle, even a chore.
After struggling for a month or so I turned to some books on my shelf that I’ve reread a few times before. To my surprise, I flew through them AND I felt comforted by them.
It’s then that I began to wonder if the reason that I read above all others is to find those few stories that have the power to bring me solace. Like the feeling of a hot mug of tea and being wrapped in your coziest blanket. The ones that seem to speak to my soul and brush away the dust and decay it collects. The ones that act as a balm after the pressures and rigor of everyday life. The ones that shine a light on my darkest of days.
Perhaps that is why I read, what I’m in search for, my own personal life rafts. Only, I can’t know them till I have read them so I must keep reading to seek them out. Perhaps my shelves are not just full of paper and fantastical worlds but of security and ointments for this chaotic life, I live.