Reading: My Personal Form of Escape

The first essay assigned in my AP 3 English class this year was a “Why I…” essay. My classmates and I defined the reason why we do a specific thing in our essays. Some wrote about why they play sports. Others mentioned why they draw. For my essay, I decided to write about why I read, because reading has always been an important part of my childhood and my process of growing up.

So why do I read?

I have terrible eyesight. When I am not wearing my glasses or my contact lenses, everything and everyone becomes an indistinguishable, fuzzy image. My lack of vision can be extremely debilitating at times; nothing makes sense when I cannot even see it.

nerd_glasses

I suppose I cannot complain, though, since it is entirely my fault. My eyesight is so terrible because when I was younger, I used to read everywhere I went, all the time, even in almost total darkness. I spent so much time reading that I ended up with glasses and a obsessive love for books.

When I was only eight years old, I had just grasped the concepts and skills required to be a proficient reader. I actually despised the activity at first, hated the tedious work that was deciphering each word in order to form a story. Then, I came across the wonder and beauty that is every Harry Potter book. Within a year, I read all six books twice. (The seventh one had not been released yet.) During that year, I also became the four-eyed book worm of my third grade class.

harry_potter-books

To this day, I can still recall what it felt like to read those Harry Potter books for the first time, to experience the joys of reading for the first time. I remember being face-to-face with Voldemort and experiencing a sort of terror I had never known. I remember cheering on Harry, Ron, and Hermione, feeling as though I was right next to them during their many struggles against You-Know-Who. I remember crying my eyes out along with the other characters when Dumbledore died. I remember the excitement I felt during each painful wait that came between finishing a book and getting my hands on the next one. As an eight-year old child, reading allowed me to experience a kaleidoscope of emotions that I never would have been able to experience in my actual life.

Harry,Ron_and_Hermione_their_last_battle_poster

Books can do that to people. They have the unique capability of drawing willing readers into an addicting emotional whirlwind. I read when I am upset, so I can forget my own sadness and perhaps wallow in a fictional character’s misery instead. I read when I am happy, in hopes of indulging myself with beautiful language that can possibly brighten my day a bit more. I read when I am lonely because I can always find a friend in a made-up character.

No matter what I read, the simple act of reading itself never fails to let me experience and feel something different, to lose myself and my own emotions in a fictional world. Each time I open a new book, I can’t help but feel like an eight year old girl again, about to enter a fantastic world of reading that I had never known existed.

books

– Karen

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2 thoughts on “Reading: My Personal Form of Escape

  1. So true, books have a wonderful way of providing us not just an escape but an world where the emotions and hardships we already feel are real too. Imagination is a really powerful thing. 🙂

    ~Aspen

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