Reading to survive

On the Edge

We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?

Reading is the thing for me that keeps everything straight, the one thing that I can rely upon to keep me sane. When I’m sick of everything else there’s always a good book to rescue me. Reading focuses my mind in a way that nothing else does for it demands my full attention and allows no random or wandering thoughts. Occasionally I manage to read a book that is unconnected to any of my special interests, I greatly appreciate this for as much as I like certain topics and certain people it’s nice sometimes to think of something else. Losing yourself in a book not only allows you to escape the chaos around you but also from the chaos of your own mind. To bring some order to the disorder.

That’s what I love the most about books, that ability they have to make you forget where you are in a way that films just don’t. I can’t help but think back of all the times at school I survived thanks to my books, all those times that I was able to lose myself in the book and ignore the chaos around me. In an odd sort of way I miss that. Now I have plenty of peace and quiet to read and yet  I don’t read as much as I would like. Weird as it is, the quiet is distracting.

Writing would be the second thing, for similar reasons as mentioned above with the bonus that you get to be the creator, the story teller. Previously I would have said watching films or playing video games but neither of those things are particularly important to me right now, nor are they as necessary as they once were. Not having much interest in either of those things right now I can live with, it’s when for some reason I can’t read that gets to me, that feels like the end of the world.

3 responses to “Reading to survive

  1. I believe that the internet messes with our ability to read. There is so much to read out there but it is short, quick, and often meaningless. The internet leads us to crave bright lights, bits of music, and fast moving text. Can we ever return to the level of concentration required for a book? Books may disappear as did much of oral history.

    • That’s an interesting and yet scary thought. I couldn’t imagine a world without books. I think or at least I hope that they’ll always have a place, the internet can be so over-stimulating because of all of the things you mentioned. The calm and quiet of a book can provide an escape from that. I wonder sometimes that as great as the internet is, that there’s not more bad points than good points. The way interacting online seems to have taken the place of actually talking to people in real life, the way so many people seem to live their lives online and as you’ve pointed out what it does to people’s ability to concentrate. I may just be rambling here, I don’t know, but your comment really intrigued me.

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