For You, the Book-Lover
For you, the book-lover. You who plunges into the pages of a book as if diving into the sea, with the familiarity of arriving at a place you know well, and at the same time, with the sensation of adventure and mystery, and not knowing what will happen next.
For you, who knows the pleasure of taking refuge in a good book on a rainy afternoon. You who settles into the couch and lets the hours fly by, and who can’t understand how that might bore people, with so many stories to discover, so many lives about which to dream…
“There are people who cannot imagine a world without birds; there are people who cannot imagine a world without water; what I mean is that I am unable to imagine a world without books.”
-Jorge Luis Borges-
For you, who has lived a thousand lives, has known hundreds of worlds, and has travelled through time. You who has felt, laughed, and cried all because of the written word. You who know human nature because you have walked in the shoes of infinite characters.
You surely remember books that have marked a before and an after in your life. The first stories that amazed you as a child, the readings of your adolescence that left their mark on your character, and books you’ve have read now as an adult that have helped you to overcome difficult moments.
It is very likely that you prefer a certain moment: maybe at night, in bed, just about to go to sleep, or maybe to fill the time that passes as you ride the bus or the train, or maybe you read in the afternoon, a peaceful moment salvaged from daily chores. Or maybe you leave this moment until the end of the week, as a kind of reward.
You know that reading can be an escape: you forget your problems and the little everyday dramas, to enter a different world. It is a magical time in which negative thoughts cannot flood your mind, a little while that is free from stress and worries.
However, reading is much more than just a simple escape. It can create space, and allow you to distance yourself, so you can learn, think creatively, and emotionally strengthen yourself. In this way, reading can serve as a way to solve our problems, or at least something that can help us deal with them in a better way.
As readers, we have always known about these benefits. But recently, science has given us reason: did you know that reading lowers the risk of dementia? It seems to be that reading, especially reading fiction, improves our cognitive reserve and carries us into old age in much better condition.
Furthermore, various studies have confirmed that reading increases emotional intelligence and empathy, that incredible human ability to put oneself in another’s place and to understand their position. This had already been guessed by the philosopher Schopenhauer when he declared that “reading is thinking with the brain of another instead of doing it with one’s own brain”. Cognitive psychology and neuropsychology have confirmed his reflections.
These findings are important because, if you dig deeper into the research, more and more studies can be found that tell us how reading improves concentration, memory, and the ability to connect concepts, to name just a few of the benefits. This demonstrates that time spent reading is never time lost: you always gain much more than you lose.
But we shouldn’t let ourselves be fooled: it is not necessary to know these benefits, nor to list all the advantages, in order to know what is the best part of reading. Reading is an unique experience, an amazing addiction with no negative effects, and an absolute pleasure for those who are addicted.
For you, who recognizes your addiction to reading and who has read this article with a knowing smile on your face, because you know what I am talking about. For you, who, just like Borges, could never imagine a world without books. This article is for you, the book-lover.