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Saturday, 23 November 2013

My Addiction

Reading has always been a passion. Books a doorway to so many different worlds, a way into other peoples' lives allowing an intimacy, you are not allowed in real life because we all erect barriers to protect our most precious selves. My favourite books are the ones inhabited by characters who capture my imagination. Those books I draw out, trying to delay the end when I would have to say goodbye to the people whose lives feel entwined with mine. Sometimes, when a book ends I feel sad; knowing I will miss the characters who inhabited my mind during the reading. It's that lump you feel when saying bye to a friend, knowing you may not meet again.

With age, I have also learned to self-medicate with books. They are my refuge, my escape when I need it. Books can be the place you go to, to get away from where you are. I have never done drugs. I have tried alcohol but it's not for me. There are too few people whom I trust enough to drink with and even with them, once a year is more then enough for me. Books are where I turn to when I need a break but books are also where I am, when I don't need anything.

As with all addictions; the more I read, the more I want to read. The list of books on my bucket list keeps growing and one fear is that I may never get the time to read them all.

What I like best about reading though, is the assurance of not being alone. Once in a precious while, you feel the writer reach out from the pages and hold your hand; it's that moment when you read your thoughts written in someone else's words upon the page and you expel that breath, you hadn't even realized you were holding, and feel sated knowing that at least one other being on the planet felt and thought like you, even if only for a moment.

"Books help us know other people, know how the world works, and, in the process, know ourselves more deeply in a way that has nothing to do with what you read them on and everything to do with the curiosity, integrity and creative readiness you bring to them.

Books build bridges to the lives of others, both the characters in them and your countless fellow readers across the lands and other eras, and in doing so elevate you and achor you more solidly into your own life. They give you a telescope into the minds of others, through which you begin to see with ever greater clarity, the starscape of your own mind.

And though the body and form of the book will continue to evolve, it's heart and soul never will. Though the telescope might change, the cosmic truths it invites you to peer into remain eternal like the universe.

In many ways, books are the original internet - each fact, each story, each new new bit  of information can be a hyperlink to another book, another idea, another gateway into the endlessly whimsical rabbit hole of the written word. Just like the web pages you visit most regularly, your physical bookmarks take you back to those book pages you want to return to again and again, to reabsorb and relive, finding new meaning on each visit - because the landscape of your life is different, new, "reloaded" by the very act of living."

Maria Papova, "Does My Goldfish Know Who I Am? Scientists and Writers Answer Little Kids Big uestions About How Life Works",


  1. I love books for an escape from real life, to imagine or live a part of my life I know is only impossible in reality.