“We live and breathe words. …. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt–I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted–and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.”
– Cassandra Clare, A Clockwork Prince
Books, for me, are the greatest escape. A journey you can take in the steps of someone else. Someone whose life is fantastical, real, bigger. Somehow books are still my constant, they never let me down even when the rest of the world gives them terrible reviews. I have lived a thousand lives within books and I don’t plan to ever stop.
Books can teach you to consider that there are always two sides of the story, multiple perspectives and layers. In this life we tend to forget that there are more than one way to see the same thing. The way I view the way the wind blows the leaves is not the same way that you do. The way I view him is not the way you do. Books that give you more than one perspective can get you really thinking, can get you so invested in stand-alone novels in a way that you could never imagine. Two such books, that if you haven’t read – please do, they will change your life.
Now I am not going to give you any spoilers, but I will give you a quote from each:
“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness” – Jennifer Niven, All The Bright Places
“I just can’t believe that life would give us each other,’ he said, ‘and then take it back.”
‘I can,’ she said. “Life’s a bastard.” – Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
Within books you can find things out about yourself. Either things that you never wanted to admit to or just simple similarities within a character. A character that you identify with can make you notice your own strengths and weaknesses. If there is an aspect that you don’ t like about the character, it could very well be something that you don’t like about yourself. I have found many things about myself from reading. If you are lost or questioning, pick up a book, maybe you can find something out about yourself too.
Books can be your manual on love. Because let’s be honest, there is no such thing. Love is imperfect and ever-changing. There is many types of love out there and there is not one right way to love someone. A good book, the ones that leave you breathless or in tears, can truly give you the best lessons. These books can show you what real romance is, forgiveness and what it takes for a relationship to stand the test of time.
“This is the you I like. You definitely dressed sexier and are, you know, blond, and that’s different. But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow. I love that you’re fragile and tough, quiet and kick-ass.” – Gayle Foreman, If I Stay
“I look at her there in the shadows of the shut-down city, her hair falling onto her face, and I can see her trying to figure out if I’ve lost it. And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shattered building until we feel the vibrations ringing through both of us. Because I suddenly want to hear her bones rattle. I want to feel the softness of her flesh give, to hear her grasp as my hip bone jams into her. I want to yank her head back until her neck is exposed […] And then I want to take my mouth to hers, to devour her alive, to transmit all the things she can’t understand.” – Gayle Foreman, Where She Went
“This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.” – David Levithan, Every Day
There is something intimate about reading, about being a reader. The lines that are drawn between the mind of a reader and the words they are reading; it is almost like trying to find where one begins and the other ends. About the intimate connection we feel towards characters and how captivating it is to watch us read. Watching us fall in love with each turn of the page. If you can do anything in your life, love a reader – a writer, they will continue to fascinate you. They will be your very own mystery.