Albus Dumbledore once said, “words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” I happen to agree with the wizard. Over spring break I finally had the chance to catch up on some reading, and as usual fell into the rabbit hole and enveloped myself in a story.
Fiction is my favorite thing to read. The feeling of immersing myself in a different world and becoming someone else for a little while is something I can’t get from anything else. Knowing that I can step away from reality be in another story is so blissful.
When I’m sitting on my bed and my eyes are running across the page, my heart is beating fast and I’m worried or excited for a character, that’s when I find myself smiling.
Even when I’m so upset by something bad that’s going in a book that I chuck it across the room and say I’m done with it… then go pick it up and make sure it’s ok and keep on reading.
Words on a page that are arranged in a way to make you feel something is beautiful to me. That people can just come up with these worlds and stories is so amazing and inspiring. My favorite author is Cassandra Clare, and just the way she describes things and puts words together is incredible and I love it. I have read her books multiples times over, and she just keeps putting more out. I barely have time to read them, but when I do it is worth staying up until the a.m.
Even if you have never felt things that are going on in a book, like heartbreak or loss, or even battling a seven armed demon (I would hope no one has done that. Only six arm demons are safe) you can feel it when you read about it. Your heart aches for the characters that you have attached yourself to and you want them to be well.
This is why I love reading. This is why I love writing. Even though I don’t write fiction, I hope that someday I will be able to. I hope that I will be able to take someone into a different world and let them forget about their lives for a little while.
And this is not to say that any non-fiction writing is not as adequate as fiction. I love what I am doing right now as I create this article. I love to read other people’s blogs that are just about their life or things that are going on in the world. Those things can take you places in your mind too, just as easily. You can read about someone else’s life and imagine what it’s like to be them. Doing this could inspire you to strive to be like them. It could even make you want to help someone like them.
When I read just about anything, it impacts me in some way or another, and I believe that’s true for all people.
As I think about all the amazing things that reading and writing can do for people, it also makes me think of all the people who don’t have the opportunity or access to read.
Right here in the U.S., libraries are being shut down across the whole country. People who don’t have access to the internet relied on these libraries not only for reading for fun, but for education.
Outside of the U.S. it only gets worse. Many developing countries do not prioritize education, whether that be reading and writing or math and science.
There are over 110 million children that don’t attend school in developing nations, and 60 percent of those kids are girls. In Afghanistan, 9 out of 10 women are illiterate. Only about 20 percent of Afghan girls attend school beyond the sixth grade. These statistics are startling and, quite frankly, nauseating.
I am very lucky to have this column and be able to express myself through words, and to also be able to read whatever please. I hope that in the near future others will be able to also.