21-Day Writing Challenge Day 8 – Reading

Reading is my favorite thing to do when I’m not feeling too sure about my life or my choices. If I’m stressed, bored or have a long travel ahead of me, I simply love losing myself in someone else story and adventure.

I grew up seeing both my parents read a lot. They still do to this day, both having at least one or two books on the go at the same time. When I was a kid, a lot of Sunday mornings were actually spent sitting on the couch, listening to music and being all lost in the different environments our books provided.

I used to always have a book with me, just in case I would have to wait somewhere and could get immersed back into another story. I would often get so much into the story, I would be very distracted from what I was doing, either walking, cooking etc. I remember even reading every morning while I waited for my school bus. I would read all the way to the very last minute, and as soon as I would hear the distinct sound of the bus coming up my street, I would zip up my coat and go outside.

One morning in particular, in the midst of a very cold winter, I was so engrossed in my book that I forgot to put my boots on, stepping outside into the wet snow in my socks. I had to run back inside, get my boots and run back to the bus. After this event, I would always make sure to put my boots on before grabbing my book again. I would also double check that I had actually finished getting dressed and was not still wearing my PJ pants!

Reading books is captivating. You can travel to the other end of the world simply with some words. You can learn what it’s like to be a farmer in Thailand, a teacher in a very difficult environment, a time-traveler, a new world explorer, or even a rich teenager in Manhattan (although I’m not sure how accurate that description can be!)

Maybe it’s why I love it so much when people tell me their own life stories. I can not only picture myself in their shoes, but it also helps make sense of who they are, what they like and what drives them.

Words can express so much, or be very ambiguous depending on how we use them. I for one can sometimes try to understand the meaning behind someone’s text. I don’t know if it’s a woman’s thing or an avid reader’s thing but I admit I tend to analyze every word. It can lead to some frustration sometimes, especially since not everyone gives as much importance to words as I do.

It’s the same when we talk. We can use a lot of words and say nothing, but we can also say nothing, and with that silence carry a lot of meaning.

Human communication and the lack thereof is fascinating to me. And also how very different it is depending on the language we use. I wish I would be better at expressing how I feel, and be more precise when I communicate. But just like anything else, it is with practice that we improve.

In the last few years, I had been mostly concentrating on reading non-fiction books. My favorites ones have actually been about subjects I didn’t know anything about. A book about exploring the deepest caves of the world and one about waves being two of the books that have left a lasting impression on me.

Other fascinating books I’ve read in the last few years have been about our human brains and how we think. Or more accurately how we think we think and make decisions. Spoiler alert, we are very good at telling ourselves stories and actually believing them when there’s absolutely no truth to them.

Lately though, thanks to my mom’s library card, I’ve gotten into fiction again, and I have to admit I had missed it a lot more than I thought. Watching series is nice, but there’s something more about reading. I like the fact that even though things and characters tend to be detailed, you can still very easily make them your own. We need to use some of our imagination when reading, whereas watching a movie feels a lot more passive. It’s a bit like eating pre-masticated food. It still feeds us, but it’s a lot better if I can experience the various flavors on my own!

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