As a child I spent most of my time with my nose buried deep within the pages of a book. I grew up engrossed in far off lands that were filled with mythical creatures, in stories in which children were the heroes and in tales that were far removed from my own ordinary, day-to-day life.
Which is why I firmly believe that a good book can take you anywhere. When you're lost between the pages, it doesn't matter whether you're sat at home or at the local park because all that matters is reaching that final page. Even if you sometimes turn it a little bit reluctantly, happy to have reached the end but sad to have to put the book down.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies" - George R.R. Martin
Admittedly, I might be a bit biased when it comes to my take on reading as I only recently graduated with a degree in English Literature. However, my love for reading delves far deeper than that and yet since graduating, I seem to have lost that.
In the three years that my degree spanned, my term time was largely made up of reading. Looking back, I actually don't know how I had time to do anything else but somehow I did make it through the reading list and still had time to eat, sleep and occasionally socialise. Sometimes I finished the book well in advance, other times I was just finishing the last few pages a few hours before the seminar.
But regardless, I was reading.
Fast forward to five months after graduation and I can count the number of books that I've read since returning home on one hand.
Now that reading is not a necessity and that no one is going to shun me for not completing the reading list for that week, I've fallen into a rut of not reading at all. Scrolling through social media after a long day at work is easier, mindlessly watching tv is even easier than that and so, after arriving home at 7pm and cooking dinner, these two things tend to win over engaging my brain enough to take in the words on a page.
Coat - LOTD
Which is why I'm now determined to change my routine and get back into a habit of reading. Not only like I did at uni, but like I did as a child.
Because what it comes down to in the end is that there are twenty-four hours in a day. And by the time I factor out all of the things that I have to spend my time doing - from work, to sleep, to heading to the stables, to preparing meals, I'm left with roughly two and a half hours that are spare in each day. So, instead of filling them by scrolling mindlessly through my phone, or watching trashy TV shows, I've started to fill them by reading. And so far it has been wonderful.
Once again I've begun disappearing into another world, I've found myself enamored by the stories of others, I've noticed my vocabulary growing again and I've felt a real pull back into the fictional world for the first time in years. Which has, by giving me time in each chaotic day to relax, in turn had a wonderful impact on my mental health, which (if you ask me) can never be a bad thing.
And what better time of the year to get back into the habit of reading than now, when it's really starting to feel like Winter? When we are in the midst of the hibernation months. When everyone knows that it is more than acceptable to lock your door, clutch a cup of tea and simply fall into the pages of a good book...