Reading provides needed escape from reality


Art by Michelle Zhuang

Afsah Khan

To Afsah, From Michelle
Art by Michelle Zhuang
When our Spring Break turned into Winter Break Part Two, I realized that spending the entire week watching television wasn’t the best idea. So I turned towards my bookshelf, which was overflowing with new and old copies of different books. I had forgotten how much fun reading was. In high school, every day is just another struggle to get all of my homework done and still get enough sleep to function the next day. Finding time to read books is an extremely difficult task.
Occasionally, though, I still take out a few of my favorite books and sit down on the old couch in the basement. And once I start a book, I don’t stop until I have spent several hours reading it. I realize that I forget how amazing books are and how they are more effective at providing an escape from reality than the Internet or television. I really do take books for granted and let them sit for months on my bookshelf without even giving it a second thought.
Every book pulls me into a new world, filled with new people and a new situation. I travel my way through the story along with all the main characters and become emotionally attached to all the people I “meet” along the way. Their stories make me laugh, cry and feel their pain, every ounce of it. I have all kinds of books stacked up in my basement, in every genre you can think of. And they all offer a different experience for me, a different journey to go on.
When I was younger, I used to be addicted to reading. I still remember the day I finished a chapter book for the first time and the ecstasy I felt. I have all my picture books from my childhood; I remember taking them all out and reading dozens of them in a day. I would cherish each page, each illustration, each word. I saw every book as a magical world, far away from our own. I often yearned to step into a book and leave everything behind.
Now that I’m older, I have drifted away from the enchanted world of books. I struggle to find time to become completely absorbed in a novel and lose track of all time. But when I do find time to read, I realize it is the best form of entertainment I will ever have.
As summer approaches, my bookshelf continues to call out to me. And this time, I won’t ignore its call.
By Afsah Khan