When I was a kid, I remember going to a small library near my elementary school a few days in the week after school. It was quiet and bright space, with no more than three small rooms full of books, with one room dedicated to children's and teen books.
My brothers and I would scan all of the shelves and baskets in that room and each borrow a few books with our own library cards. I remember that I loved reading Amelia Bedelia books and the Amelia's Notebook series. I must have had a thing for the name. Or looked in the same section all the time.
This was a time in my life when I started to really latch onto certain books and types of stories. I loved fantasy books and reading about other worlds. Wherever I went, I would bring a book with me. I would read at the dinner table, read in the car on the way to a party, or read in between my classes in middle school. All of my copies of the Harry Potter books are worn out due to this.
I don't know if it was an exactly healthy habit. Of course, reading is seen as a good, smart thing to be doing because it expands the mind and increases vocabulary and all of that. However, I feel as though books were a way to close myself off from the world.
From high school to college, I started reading less - more because I started watching television, having a social life, and because homework required me to read certain books.
During this post-grad time, reading now has a new meaning for me. While I still love fictitious stories and worlds, I find that I am also interested in reading about the real world.
For example, the last time I went to the library, I picked out a couple of books about photography. I've always liked taking pictures, but what makes photography an art form? Reading about how certain artists saw the medium will help me understand it.
I guess it may sound like I'm trying to be an expert at something, but it comes down to this difference: I don't have to become an expert on Ansel Adams - I can read about and look at his works for the sake of learning about photography. And if for some reason I don't enjoy it or connect with, I can move on to something else without consequence.
So as of now, I am enjoying my reading time and exploring the world/s within these books, with the hope that it will eventually expand my own reality as well.