Keep Calm and Read

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I wasn’t in the best of moods and I didn’t have the energy to focus or do anything productive today. Words ran through my head as nonsense and blurs as I read the questions from my homework. I had no inspiration and and no idea how to or what to write about on this particular blog. My mind was empty and all I wanted to really do was sleep. There are a couple of things that could make me happy at times like this: being with someone that can make me laugh easily; being outside and with nature and breathing in the fresh, crisp air; rain; music; reading… the little things in life that you caught at the last second from someone or something that makes your heart burst for no reason. Oh, the nonsense.

This week was a roller coaster of emotions. I won’t dig deep but I didn’t have the energy to do anything or focus as well as I would’ve intended to. If I said that reading an excerpt of a book from one of my favorite series made my day, you would’ve probably just exited out of this tab and moved on to more interesting things on the internet. Well, I am here to tell you so.

You see, I’ve been having trouble coming up with ideas on what to write about. Every idea I had and began to venture into made me stop dead in my tracks as if there was the Great Wall of China ten feet away from where I stood. As if as I didn’t realize until now and with no possible way to move on from there. Did I mention my reader’s block? Every book I picked up made me want to bash it against a wall. Okay, I’m not that violent but you get my drift.

Reading is one of my favorite pastime activities, although lately it’s been hard to get into a book. I believe that reading is more than just words on a page, and a good book has all the elements to make it as if you’re in the book yourself, as if you are the characters and each breath that they take is your own. A good book makes it seem all real for that moment in time, which in reality you are just lying on your bed or couch or wherever you are in the world. A book is like magic. It’s a creation from someone else, their world and characters and actions gushed out onto paper. It’s amazing, really.

There is an obvious reason why so many don’t like reading anymore: technological advances. People have such busy life schedules nowadays that when they have free time, reading is not something that would be the first thing that would pop up in their head. I also have a guilt in this. I wouldn’t call myself an avid reader, but I do love to read and disappear into an entirely new world different from reality. Some people have never experienced what it’s really like to sit down and get absorbed into a book. It’s even rarer to find a readworthy book for a person who barely even reads nowadays. I feel that the excitement and adventure that can come through books has become lost to the world.

Now, remember when I said that I read an excerpt from one of my favorite books and it made my day? I felt that it was the only time in weeks where I read something and the words were more than just words. All these emotions rushed at me and I was actually reliving the characters once again: their anxiety, frustration, happiness, relief. It gave me inspiration to write. I was happy for that moment in time, able to get past more than a couple of words. It was still weird what reading can do, even though I have experienced it so many times.

I would love to claim that reading has saved my life, but I don’t know if that’s really accurate. It would be more like: reading is one of my favorite escapes from this harsh reality.

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Last week, our class was assigned to do The Art Assignment in which you make a fake flyer and post it somewhere in the world. It could be punny, promoting a fake event, whatever you can think of that would make someone stop, think, and shake their head with a slight grin that something like that would be posted up. The assignment, in a way, is like an escape from the real world. Imagine it as a distraction from all the competition, bustling and frustration of reality. Trust me because that is what it is- kind of like a small but marvelous excerpt from a good book.

-Christina

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