10 May Reading: A Source of Comfort
Anna Quindlen says, “Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”
Reading is easily one of my favorite pastimes, and there have been many instances where reading after a long day has helped me calm down, especially in a few genres in particular. Fiction has always been my go-to and is my favorite genre. Reading fiction books when I’m stressed or anxious always helps immensely.
“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.” – Fernando Pessoa
The number one reason why I love reading is escapism and a comforting sense of predictability, reading a book helps you get involved in the story and slowly start relaxing. Once you start reading, it provides a sense of relief as you will start to forget about your problems. Another reason is, that the real world is unpredictable and absolutely anything can happen. However, with books, the story is already planned out and written, and there’s usually always a happy ending. With books, there’s no fear of the unknown, which is one of the reasons why I love reading. Nothing I do could possibly change the way the book was written, since it’s already set in stone, which is a great comfort.
When you read a book, it’s a straightforward procedure of just reading it all the way from the start to the end, and it’s uncomplicated since it’s all laid out right in front of you. This makes it a lot more enjoyable to read and easier to comprehend.
Additionally, reading also enhances your brain’s ability to process information well, and it helps with memory, vocabulary, and focus. Reading different genres also helps in developing your thinking skills and experience, while broadening your perspective on different topics.
This is why, whenever you feel anxious, nervous, or tense about anything going on around you, it’s easy to just let yourself relax and escape by easing yourself into a good book and trying to give yourself time to calm down and escape from reality. Charles Baudelaire says,
“A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company, by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.”
This has helped me multiple times, and I would definitely recommend reading fiction books to help anybody gain their composure and forget about the rest of the world around them, at least for a short period of time.
Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and your stress levels. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as listening to music. This is because your mind is invited into a literary world that is free from stressors.
However, reading helps in reducing stress only if you read something that won’t upset you, which means reading anything that would upset or anger you wouldn’t be a great choice, unlike reading a novel that talks about things you enjoy. Reading is also refreshing and rejuvenating, and it could also create productive outcomes and add value to your life in general.
My school, Sharanya Narayani International School (SNIS), a top Boarding and Day IB school in Bangalore is a treasure trove for people like me. We have a well-equipped, and very functional library that caters to our every need, be it entertainment or research. Not only do we have a great library, my school places great emphasis on having students take on independent reading and develop a love for books. Picking up a book from https://snis.edu.in/my extensive library which is nestled among a canopy of trees in a peaceful corner of our massive campus, settling comfortably into a fluffy inflated bean bag, getting lost among the lines of my book, allowing it to transport me to a magical realm, is my definition of heaven.
“Books may well be the only true magic.” — Alice Hoffman
By Ananya Sunder