By: Vanessa C.
Books are some of my favorite things in the world, they are truly exemplifications of the human imagination and creativity. If you look back at our human History, you will realize that since the dawn of humanity, one thing has remained clear, that language and communication has been vital for the rise and dominance of our species.
But how much of it can we say is useful, really? You’ll see my verdict soon. In school, we’re taught to buy this book, read by this date, write a long-form review on it and return it. And that’s the end of the chapter. You’re done. You would be forgiven for thinking that reading is a chore, and you’re made to read for the sake of reading. I have seen that happen so many times with schools across the world, and I think it’s time we look at the bigger picture of literature, not simply literature in books, but literature in life.
Here’s the truth: reading cannot be forced. The lucky ones (I count myself in) come to have a greater appreciation of literature in general, and I think it’s time for me to share what I think are the greatest lessons I’ve learned from a lifetime of reading thus far.
Every book, I believe, holds promise and ideals. Human ideals. Be it kindness, love, justice, anger, hatred, imagination, dreaming, mortality, hope etc.
What we do in school is never comparable to the incredible amount of things you can learn from each book.
Each book, a perfectly (or partially flawed) woven tale or story each with its own life. The library contains many beating hearts, waiting for someone to absorb all its secrets, all the wisdom and turn it into actionable change. There is no secret to reading, there is only a reader and non-reader. You read the way you want to, you interpret it the way you want to. Sometimes, when lying in bed preparing to go to sleep, I think of how my favorite books look different in others’ minds and hearts, their imaginations of the characters and the interpretation of the plot line, each connection made is just one strand of spider-woven silk, it links to so much more. And that to me, is the beauty of a book.
Beauty is even more evident and profound in our worlds. Countless books are inspired by real people, real places and real events, it’s just what the author, and we, as readers make of it. Each book we pick up is one more gem yet to be discovered, and more road yet travelled. Regardless of whether the book is terrible or lovely, I think every book has something within it that the reader needs to see, even if it takes ages.
So here are just some of the many things I can think of that apply to our lives with literature and books.
Here’s to everyone struggling with a mental health issue right now, you are valid, your feelings are valid and your experience is valid. Find your release and feel your stress dissipate with it, whether that’s books or music or running, whatever it is, do what makes you feel good.
That’s the most important thing about life.