As a kid, like many other children around the world, I went through a book-obsessed phase. These were times in my life where my nose was always in a book, and I would stay up all night waiting to find out what would happen to Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. I don’t really remember much about these phases, but I remember how much I enjoyed books for their ability to immerse me into a new reality. I love books — I loved books in fifth grade when I always had one in my backpack, and I love them now, even though it has been more than a year since I read a book for fun.
I realize we all had these phases, or something similar. Whether it was comic books, fictional books or even the odd biography, there was likely a book in your life that transformed you into a “book” person. However, I realize these phases occur only when we are younger, and despite the occasional exception, these book phases usually die out by the time we reach high school.
There is a very clear reason for this book phase death. We stop looking toward books because we are bogged down by our college work, and there is a certain point where we stop looking at reading as an enjoyable experience. It becomes a mere obligation to pass a class.
We often look at college for what it gives us: new opportunities, a degree or lifelong friends. But we suppress talking about what it has taken in worry that it will make us appear ungrateful. But’s important to talk about the things that are different in our lives now that we are officially adults, and a change in our perspective of reading is one of these key differences. As a freshman, I now view reading as an obligation, which sometimes saddens me because I remember a time when I enjoyed it so much. So, how can I fix this?
There is an obvious answer: Buy a book and read it. But first, there is a necessity to get over the mental roadblock I have toward reading. For me, this started by viewing reading as something I should do for myself. I romanticized reading, treating it the same as any other form of self-care. I read in the morning with my breakfast or outside in the sun. It’s easy for the stress of school to creep up on you and take your joy of reading when you are in the same place. So, my first step was getting out of that space mentally and physically, and to somewhere better.
Although I still have a lot of work to do, both in school and on my journey toward my college book phase, I feel like mentally getting over the reading block is the first step in the right direction. And I hope, one day, that I will begin to enjoy reading for myself again and all the magic that comes along with that.