There was a point last week when I was about to start a new book and I had a moment of doubt. Would I be able to get into it? It had been so long since I read a book for fun and not for my university course, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to focus or fully absorb myself into the narrative.
Then I got into it like always and, obviously, got so obsessed I couldn’t think of anything else for two days.
One of the reasons that I love to read and I think why reading can be so exciting for some people is the aspect of escapism. When I read a book, I love how it can take me into the heart of a completely different world to the one I inhabit, whether that’s an alien planet in the middle of a galactic war or the New York art scene in the 70s. I also love the insight into people’s lives on such an intimate level that you feel like you know them, people you would never get to know and maybe wouldn’t want to know in real life, and how quickly you can become invested in the lives of fictional characters.
All of this will sound commonplace to readers, and equally recognisable is the line you get used to hearing, But you do know that they’re not real people, right?
Yes, I am fully aware that people I read about in books are not real, but that doesn’t make their impact on me any less real. It’s incredible to think that the skill of someone’s writing and their construction of their characters and world can have this effect on another human being. Every time I try to write or when comparing different writers, I realise afresh the difficulty of crossing the subtle line between a collection of character traits and a convincing fleshed out person, which is why I have so much admiration for authors.
Basically, reading is amazing and mind blowing to think about and I really want to start reading more again.
Image: Seeta Parmar