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Reading and me have been on one hell of journey. I loved it, then I hated it and now I love it again. When I was a younger I loved it with a passion. I participated in state-wide reading challenges, I devoured no less than 5 books a week throughout primary school, and then when I hit those teenage years I lost all the love I had for reading and simply refused to touch a book. Call it a phase or being lazy, but I wish I had read more in the years I stopped. Other than a high school text-book I never read for fun. It had become a chore.
Why? I think it was partly because I struggled to find books that captured my attention with creative and inventive plots. There was also the mountain of school reading that was required each week, leaving me little time to indulge in reading for fun. And then there was part of me that refused to read because I was sick and tired of being seen as the geek, the nerd, the girl with a head always in a book. I wanted to be cool, do what the other girls did. Now I realise that was a huge mistake because not doing something you love for the approval of others is pointless and soul-crushing.
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As an adult, with a lot more common sense, I am back to my old self according to mum, which she is real pleased to see. I make the time to read each week, to pick up that book and enjoy the downtime. It’s harder in adulthood to make the time to do the little things you love, which makes it so much more important that you do. Some weeks I read a little, maybe a few pages. Others I will finish three books, a series. But every week I read.
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I probably spend far too much time these days buying books and bookcases to house them, instead of saving for the future. But my future is in the pages of these novels I bring home to my ever-growing library. They feed my brain valuable knowledge. They teach me about the world, about myself, how to be creative and imaginative. They offer so much a school education cannot teach.
I love the fact that I can spent whole days now dedicated to reading and reviewing books, talking about them here, on Instagram and YouTube. I’ve made friends far and near through it who share my fan girl tendencies, more than happy to listen to theories and my undying love for Rhysand (where do I find a human equivalent of this man!?). Being able to read such diverse books is incredible and I’m forever inspired by the stories I become a part of.
I read because I love it, plain and simple. I read to escape and I read to come home. I read because the book doesn’t finish when the pages do. They become an extension of myself, swirling in my mind, where I can re-invent and add my own ideas. I read because it inspires me, inspiring my writing and my songs. To read a book is to feed your mind, to make it sharper, wiser, clever, cunning, quick and creative. And I never want to lose my appetite for reading ever again.
That is why I read.