A old man lounges in his study beside a crackling fire in a worn leather armchair. His left leg rests crossed over his right as he strokes his beard and holds a book in his lap. A cup of black coffee sits on a small wooden table to his left, and a lamp stands on the floor to his right, lending light to the pages of his book. He is surrounded by an immense library. His books, tucked away on wooden shelves lining the walls, completely surround him. He pauses from his reading, takes a sip of his coffee, sets the mug back down in its place, flips to the next page of his book and returns to another world bound in leather.
This is my dream. The old man is me. Maybe I’m romanticizing it a bit too much. I don’t have to have the armchair or the fire or the library of books surrounding me, but this is where I want to be when I’m older: engrossed in a story held within a book.
I’ve loved reading ever since I learned how. I can remember finishing my first book in first grade and feeling a deep sense of accomplishment as I reached the last sentence and shut its cover. I wanted more. I wanted the story to continue. I wanted to know more about the characters, how they would handle different adventures that they would go on and how they would face adversity, so I picked up the next book in the series and the story went on.
This thirst for a story, for a perspective, is still within me today. I love to know what others go through and how they face it. There is wisdom in books that transcends time, and even though events and circumstances change, the underlying advice is still there.
There are lessons on how to be a better man, how to help those in need or how to decide what is right and what is wrong. The perspective through the characters’ eyes sheds light on the struggle.
I love movies, but what I usually don’t get from a movie is the character’s thoughts — only their actions. My favorite type of books are those that allow the reader to step into the mind of the character and know what they think. It gives me a power to read their thoughts. Seeing their internal struggles builds a connection between me and the characters that I usually can’t find elsewhere.
This connection runs so deeply that when the story is over, I’m often left with the question of what to do next. Usually the answer is to pick up another book, but that moment after completing a tale and knowing the final outcome is both strange and satisfying, because I don’t know the final outcome of my own story.
I love to read and encourage those that don’t to try. Try to invest yourself into a story and learn from it through each book. Try to gain new perspectives on life. Seek wisdom. Seek adventure. Read a book.