“Hillman shouldn’t be allowed to give you any more books” said my roommate with an exasperated look on his face. I had just returned from University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman library with another book to add to the plenty lying around in my room.
It was the spring semester of 2014. I was just into my second semester in my master’s program with a mountain of work awaiting me every day. But the feel of picking up a paperback often made all the stress go away. It’s been a year on; but as always I’m immersed in a book, finding solace in troubled times.
There is something intangibly good about reading a book. It’s all about building your own world. The world around us today is full of streamed media. Information and content is thrown at us from every device. The news anchor excitingly debating the day’s stock market rise, the youtube video showing us viral images, the Netflix account on our pc having enough shows to fill 24 hours and more. But nowhere is our mind more challenged than while reading.
Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself.
A good book touches your deepest emotions. The world around us dissolves and we enter our own crazy space. A space filled with the joys and sorrows of the characters of the book. We often live their lives. It’s us flying across the field on a broom, not a young bespectacled wizard. It’s not the eccentric pipe smoking Holmes finding clues, around the house it’s us. It’s not the world leader telling the tale of his journey; it’s us living it. It’s not the pirate journeying across the seas, it’s us riding on.
This connect is unique; and that’s because a book forces us to think for ourselves and not just drink in images. Every reader can interpret the story in his/her unique way; can enjoy the book with their own flow. That’s what makes a book such a treasured possession.