“I owe everything I am and everything I will be to books.” – Gary Paulsen
Reading. Remember that word? It’s the word teachers used to use right before your eyes began to close, the word your parents used to stuff down your throat along with Brussels sprouts and the word many English students dread to hear once summer holidays begin. But I wanted to share my experience of reading.
Books started out, to me, as a loveable companion; the imaginary friend my little brain was too distracted to come up with on its own, a world to escape into when reality was just too strenuous. But as TV made its way into my extra-curricular activities (well, as my only one), I abandoned my library in search of what I thought were greener pastures. Well, as I grew older and got over the torture that was my English GCSEs, I realised that reality wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and that nothing ever brought me more joy than escaping into the worlds those pages created.
The books I’ve read have changed me. And as much as I would like to dismiss reading as a silly little pastime I long outgrew, I can’t help but admit just how much those stories have added to my life. Therefore, I have decided to give you a few reasons why I think it is essential to read:
1. It will expand your vocabulary
No matter what course or job you’re doing, writing is a crucial part of all of our lives. We write personal statements, job applications, assignments etc. Whatever it may be, you need to have some form of literary prowess to dupe impress some professional into giving you a chance to succeed.
2. They sharpen your mind
Books are acrobatics for the mind. Yes, you heard me. They develop your imagination and give you new ways of thinking. They allow you to enter into somebody else’s shoes, take your mind on journeys it’s never been before and give you a widened view of the world around you. Why spend all that money on a backpacking trip round Europe when you can just open the pages of a novel?
3. Libraries cost less than Blockbusters
Much less. In fact, they are free. I’ve always wondered why libraries give out free books and unlimited renewals while Blockbusters charged a fortune for a smaller range of stories of varying production qualities. Nonetheless, books give you so much more than movies ever will. So put down that LoveFilm membership and pick up a library pass. And I put it to you, young student, that:
‘If you’re not fond of reading, maybe you just haven’t found the right book.’