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What Reading Can Do?

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

- Dr. Suess

Reading is by far nothing new but, the magic that lies within a book is always fresh and exciting. Reading has been away for my mind to escape, discover something new, connect with myself, and connect with friends. These past two years I have been reading an array of books from fiction to nonfiction to self-help books. The most magical part about reading for me is the connection and expansion of mind it has given me (shoutout to THE Book Club). Last year, I started a book club with some friends from college which provided me a way to stay in touch with them all the while partaking in an activity together despite being apart. Little did we know, this would make the time spent during COVID a little easier because we already had a social plan because we already had the distance between us.

Throughout reading and discussion, I found many ways to grow. The growth might be small and incremental but, it is growth nonetheless. Reading stimulates the imagination and pushes the mind to think about things differently. I love how TV and film do this too but, in reading I have the power to see it the way I want without anyone feeding me what they think that world looks like. I get to mentally construct that world in my brain using the words and imagery offers. Through practice and constant reading, my creativity can flourish. When I am constantly envisioning or creating images in my brain it trains my brain to think of other stories and realities. Reading trains my brain to create on its' own.

Creativity and personal inspiration is a major reason I love reading but, it also is a great way to develop empathy. It puts you directly in someone else's shoes and you can read and hear their thoughts. It is literally a portal to another person's world. The power it has is truly remarkable.

My favorite thing about reading is the connection it brings to other people. If I loved a book, I can hand someone a copy of it. People can hand me a copy of their favorite book and I get to touch and look at the same pages they read. If a stranger marked something in a used book, I can look at it and ponder why. Maybe that page will also stand out to me and I can thank the previous owner for recognizing its' significance. I found so much connection with reading during this past year. When connection felt sparse during COVID, books brought me just that. It was a time to put the screens away and enjoy the atmosphere around me while experiencing another world. I got the chance to read books with friends who are scattered all over the world and grow as a person. Reading can bring you to many more places.

*Photo Credits: Hannah Frankel

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