You probably saw the title of this blog post and went “oh this’ll be a cute little post about why this blogger loves books. I can relate to this as a fellow book-lover!” Well, reader, this post may take a sad turn, and I’d really appreciate it if you would stick around and accompany me on this trip down the rabbit hole. Because if anyone else gets this feeling too, it would make me feel a whole lot better.
So, why do I love books? The answer seemed very clear to me at first. Reading is fun. It’s a great way to entertain yourself with a story – like a movie in your imagination! Then as I got older, I asked myself again.
Why do I love books? Well, it’s a great form of escapism from reality. My life is so boring and it’s cool to read about people who go on these crazy adventures, and be able to imagine things I never thought I would ever think of in my life.
But now I’m at a very weird place where the answer to my most frequently asked question is one I don’t really want to dwell on for fear of a downward spiral.
Why do I love books?
Academically, I love them because I can be anyone and see anything from any point of view. If you open your mind enough, you can take on any role and immerse yourself in their world. I find that intriguing. But there’s something a little more personal here.
I always joke that I love books like normal people love people. And it’s actually a little bit true. Reading a good book is like falling in love. You find a genre, a style, a story, a character, something you can’t get enough of, and you’re hooked. And when it’s over, you’re sad, and move on to find another one that you hope you love as much as the first.
I fall in love with each story that I can relate to. I find characters that I imagine are my friends in a way. Each time I open the book, I feel like I’m with these people again – characters I get attached to. And in these books, I’m with them in a world where I can get to know these people and feel this connection, without having to actually speak with them. I can be their friend and watch and listen from the sidelines, and still have that friendship bond, but there are no expectations of me or pressures to contribute or participate, or all of those other things that I’m scared to do.
Books are a way for me to travel away from my otherwise boring life with these cool people I’d never otherwise meet, and get to experience friendship in a way that isn’t really allowed in our world. Relationships and friendships are a two-way street, but in this world of books, I can befriend people without being scared that I’ll let them down, or that they’ll stop talking to me. All of my insecurities don’t matter.
This level of fantasy is probably not great, but I store the memories of these stories in my head like a person stores a meaningful memory of a time spent with friends or a significant other. They mean a lot to me, even if it was just for a fleeting moment while I was reading about them.