An Ode to Books

I’m in a relationship with books. I can’t stop thinking about them: the characters, the plot, the setting, the FEELINGS. I am in love with fictional characters, with adventures I could never go on, with people I will never meet but hope that I will. And I admit, I may even be in love with the idea of love, but just a little bit.

But what does it get me? Just a strong imagination. I can jump through worlds in my dreams and I strive to be a person that someone would want to read about.

If I was a character in a book, would I fall in love with some beautiful boy? Would I be a princess? Or a warrior? Both? Or just a normal girl. Could I wield magic? Would I get in trouble a lot? Or would I be a free spirit would played piano and who’s laugh sounds like cascading bells?  What would my stubbornness get me into? Would I be powerful? I think I’d want to be more outgoing. I’d want to be strong.

These are the things I spend time thinking about.

I devour books. I open them up and accept them into my soul. Connections are made. Words linger.

Reading takes me places that I have never been. It allows my imagination to grow and my awareness to be widened. A book has the power to transport, to time travel, to make someone understand, and to make them feel. In books, dragons ARE real. But so are monsters and fairy tales, and even true love.

The saying, “Sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is completely false. Words have so much power. Anyone who has ever cried while reading, been transformed by a novel, or thrown a book across a room can attest to that. And while I know that wasn’t entirely the point of that saying, I still don’t believe it’s true.

I have a large bookshelf of books that I haven’t read yet. I find I have to be in the mood for certain books. Books can’t be pushed on me, I have to come to them. No matter how interested I may actually be in a certain book or how much I probably would actually like it, I need to take my time. Test the waters. Let it sit. I enjoy seeing the title in my bookcase before I pick it up. I like making sure it belongs the the other books its surrounded by.

Of course, that’s only some books. Others I can’t barely get out of the store/library before I go to crack it open. My books are all loved. Even the ones I didn’t quite like. Those books taught me something about myself or about writing that I didn’t know before. Bad books teach me how not to write. At least, how I wouldn’t want to write.

Reading makes me want to be a writer.  I just hope that one day, I’ll be a writer that readers will wait hungrily in anticipation for my next book.  I want to be a writer that inspires someone else to write.

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