On a journey back to Coventry in which I, unfortunately, am not the driver, so thought I would wile away the time thinking about reading.
I've always been a reader. My Mum loves to tell an anecdote of me when I came out of my first day of school. Apparently I told her that I wanted to teach people to read and write one day. At the age of 25 on the brink of my 5th year as an English teacher, it strikes me as funny that I managed to do exactly what the 5 year old me wanted.
Reading really is my life, and I don't mean that in an over sentimentalised schmaltzy kind of way. I mean it truly is part of me. I'm always reading at least one books. At some times, I am reading more. I don't really believe in book monogamy. I mean there are some books you have to devote yourself to heart and soul. But some... Well some just feel more like flings than serious commitment.
I digress... The best part about reading is the sense of calm it brings. The moment when you are wrapped up in the blanket of a life you've never lived, a world you've never experienced with words you wish you had written. When I read a really good book, one that brings chills so vivid that no fire can warm me (to paraphrase Emily Dickinson) I feel totally at ease. It doesn't matter that my car might need fixing, or that there's some kind of family emergency or even that a pile of marking is sitting on my desk. No. When I'm reading, time stops and to quote another book, I become infinite.
So when somebody says to me that they don't like reading, it stabs me. Like actually wounds me, because I just feel so much pity for that person. To live only one life in one world. To miss out on all those experiences. To miss that spread of serenity that creeps over you as you assume the character of another.
My only wish is that one day, my book is an escape for somebody else too...