I am a steadfast supporter of escapism – particularly when said escapism is in the form of books. I believe there are very few situations that are so dire that a book cannot provide a convenient escape route. When fighting depression, books can allow you to distance yourself from your own life while exerting a minimal amount of energy.
I had the privilege of having some great friends while I was growing up. Some of my best friends came from books. Junie B. Jones, Harry Potter, Charlotte and Wilbur, Charlie and Willy Wonka, Peter Rabbit, Curious George, Laura and Mary Ingalls, all of the Boxcar Children, the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Matilda, Milo and his tollbooth… The list has only grown the more I read. It’s hard to be lonely when you’re enjoying an adventure with a friend.
I found a quote while reading Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales this week for British Literature Before 1798 that resonated with me.
For him was levere have at his beddes heed
Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophye,
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrye.
I treasure my books. To me, they represent more than just journeys that don’t involve my mental illness. They represent the chance to live another life for a few hours, to see the world (or another world, for that matter) through the eyes of someone else. Reading can make us aware of ways of life that are not normally ours.
When I chose to change my major to English, I said yes to more reading. Last semester, I barely read at all. During these last two weeks, I’ve read more than I read in the last year. I want to share my books with you, because I think they have healing powers. I think they are magical, and if I didn’t worry about legal ramifications, I would promise you that they would change your life.
So from now on, I’ll be blogging about books every so often. Some books will be about mental illness, but some won’t. The direction of these posts has yet to be completely decided, so if you have any ideas, feel free to leave a comment!
Who are some of your favorite friends from reading? What are your favorite books?