8 GOOD REASONS TO BECOME A BOOKWORM
My family are bookworms; the library staff recognised my last name because my mum is in there, daily. I once made a deal with my friend that I would read Harry Potter to her in an effort to share my love of books with someone my own age. This was cancelled two minutes in and she now just happily looks at magazine pictures.
Bookworms are stereotyped as geeks, choosing to live in their own fictional fantasy rather than the reality occurring outside of book pages. There's just something magical and exciting about immersing yourself in another world that's not your own.
I’ve learnt not everyone is destined to be a book worm, but maybe the reasons below might entice you just enough to convince you to give it a go.
1. YOU ARE SPOILT WITH ENDLESS STORIES
A few people I know can’t resonate with the allure of reading because they perceive them as boring or as a whole lot of words in too many pages. To them I say this; books are like films because there are so many options. To each film genre, there is a text to match and rival it. There’s a reason there are so many novels being made in to films, and it’s not because the book was too boring to read. There’s a plethora of book types out there and believe me, if you’re bored, you’re reading the wrong one. Think of the library as a video store; go to the genre that interests you, read the blurb, and give it a go.
2. You fall in love with the characters
There is almost a danger in reading because you’re risking an emotional attachment to certain characters once the last page has been turned. This isn’t necessarily the romantic desire for Edward Cullen or Mr Darcy, although these characters have certainly been held in high esteem by many. It refers to the all-encompassing understanding to a character in literature. At the risk of referencing Harry Potter twice, who wasn’t sad when Dumbledore died? Who didn’t develop a fond relationship with Harry over the course of seven books? The same can be said for any book that you’ve enjoyed; it’s bitter sweet because you feel like the ending is saying good bye to an old friend. Get lost in a damn good book and you’ll understand; it’s an odd, unrivalled sort of 'missing someone' experience. And it’s wonderful.
3. You EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE
As an Australian, I know more about the American legal system than I do my own through reading Jodi Picoult. A great vocabulary is fostered through reading and nurtured by its continuance. Different colloquial languages are experienced, from the Australian inflection (Cloud Street; Tim Winton,) Tutor English (The Other Boleyn Girl; Philipa Gregory) to the country twang of America’s south (The Winter’s Bone, Daniel Woodrell)and everything in between. You’ll be inadvertently educated on crime scene investigation procedures, criminal trials, elephant intelligence and emotions; there is no end to what you’ll learn and you know what? It’s a lot more fun than a text book.
4. You CAN TRAVEL TO NEW LANDS
If a story is written well, it can transcend time travel. Perhaps you’ll be nestled on the couch with a blanket tucked under your feet with a hot chocolate on the coffee table, its steam curling up in tendrils. Really you’re feeling the heat of the sun as it turns your skin pink, smelling the salt in the air and the tiny grains of sand between your feet as the ocean licks your toes in the South of France. Perhaps you’re hiding under the bed with a character, in the dark of night listening to the intruder’s shoes croak the floor boards as he plays a sick game of hide and seek, you can probably feel the blood rushing to your eyes and feel the teeth marks from a bitten bottom lip. Or, while that hot chocolate gets cold, you’re treading in the rubble of the Earth’s ruins in a dystopian future.
5. YOU GET TO LIVE OUT different lIVES
It’s hard to even imagine the heartbreak and fear of having a child suffering and battling cancer, how it must feel experiencing a tragic accident that leaves half of your body paralysed or the free fall of falling wildly, irrevocably, in love. Being a bookworm means that what the characters experience, you do as well. A foreign concept becomes one you can almost feel, one you can empathise with or a life you wish you had. I would argue that if you want to know what it’s like to be someone else or to get a better grasp of how diverse life is, reading is the way to achieve that burning curiosity.
6. YOU ARE ABLE TO Resonate
We’ve all had those experiences of watching a compelling film and recognising a piece of the character within ourselves. Books have this too! If you’re going through a break up, being bullied, a crisis or struggling to realize your own identity; there is a character who is experiencing the exact same thing. It’s a way to feel less alone, to recognise that what you’re feeling is normal. Sometimes it’s a small reassurance to read our own feelings because it means someone, somewhere, gets it.
7. YOU CAN Explore a new perspective
Books written in first person, or through the eyes of a character are the closest a human can get to mind reading. The constant stream of observation and thoughts means that, in most cases, there is little we do not know about the character. This serves also to understand someone we never thought we could possibly understand before. For example we can have access to the mind of a criminal responsible for abhorrent actions and understand why. We can experience the fragility of a teenage girl’s self-esteem, a husband with a litany of affairs, a person’s entanglement with substance abuse, an Oscar winning actress, a teacher’s inappropriate love for a student that somehow, doesn’t seem so inappropriate anymore. Books explore the grey areas that have been plucked from their black and white cages.
8. YOU CAN feel like home
Snuggling on the couch with a hot chocolate as it storms outside the windows is comforting. There is something amazing about staying at home instead of going out and being really happy about that. Getting comfortable with a book in your hand is a type of bliss that only bookworms know. But it’s one worth tying out.
So for all those bookworms out there, what one book you would recommend for the newbies?
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