“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.” -George R. R. Martin
Do you every have a overwhelming need to escape? But then you realize you have to feed your kids, finish laundry and be up at 6:00AM for your day job? I’m sure you do. We all feel this way from time to time and there is nothing wrong with it. Pre-pandemic I traveled for work. No, it isn’t is glamorous as it sounds. Basically I spent a majority of my time in cars, planes and hotel rooms that all looked the same. However, there was something glorious about a plane ride in which no one could call me, ask me to do anything, or bother me and that I miss. That time was often spent reading.
I have always been a reader, you can learn more about why I read in last week’s blog post. When you ask a reader why they read the most popular answer is for an escape. A long time ago, I was part of a support group who listed reading along with many other things people use to avoid reality. I remember being put off by the comment. I don’t think you can group reading in with most addictions. Sure I understand the premise of it, but the reality is when I put my book down I jump right into my normal life. Maybe it’s different for others, but for many of us, those few minutes of reading may be what helps us get through the next hour or the next day. Our imagination drives creativity and that’s hard to come by on a daily basis.
By reading a book I can learn new things, enjoy fun stories and fall in love with characters, that are often too good to be true. Now that I am “grounded” and unable to travel due to Covid19, my adventures in reading are my escape. When I’m sitting on hold waiting for a doctor to answer, in bed late at night, or enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning I’m traveling to places unknown through my books. Nothing in the world can compare with what my imagination can create. The idea of escaping is often looked at as a bad thing, but as adults it’s reading is one of the only times we have were we can freely imagine.
Next time you read to a child, or watch them read a book, admire the face of wonder. Their expression is a look of astonishment and the story they see in their mind is a priceless gift. Give yourself the same opportunity. It’s tough being human right now, so be intentional and encourage your own imagination.