A way to escape: Books provide whole new world open to imagination

After coming home from a long day, what is the first thing the average person does? Turn on the TV? Watch a movie? Play a video game, maybe? It seems books have been the odd man out for modern entertainment as very few people choose books over visual entertainment in today’s technology-centered environment. 

Not to say that visual entertainment is a bad thing. Sure, I watch movies and play video games just like everyone else. However, I not only have an affinity for reading, but the atmosphere created by simply reading a book is like nothing else. Reading doesn’t produce dopamine in the way that watching a movie or playing video games does, and while it might not be as stimulating, reading is a much more peaceful and intelligent form of entertainment that’s good for your brain. 

Part of the reason behind this generation’s lack of interest in reading has been a stereotype in which people have associated books with unpleasant experiences from reading assigned in school. But it’s not fair to compare school assigned reading to pleasure reading as reading a book for an in-class assignment can be difficult and tedious and isn’t a good representation of how enjoyable reading can be. 

Many consider reading a task or a chore and would never pick up a book in their leisure time. This stems from the stereotypical idea of if you don’t like one or two, you must not like any. Of course, there are people who have actually read books (or at least attempted) and just don’t like reading. But there are far more who claim to hate reading and in reality have never experienced what it’s like to read a book. 

While it might seem like books are expensive (books can cost upwards of twenty dollars for a single book), public libraries have a large selection of books to borrow at no cost. Sure, it might not be as easy as jumping on Amazon Video and renting a movie, but there are always more accessible alternatives to reading a physical book, such as audiobooks and eBooks. While I am not a fan of reading a book digitally, I will admit that digital audiobooks and eBooks are a good solution for people with packed schedules and no time to stop by a library or bookstore. And of course, one could always order a book online.

Contrary to what many believe, books aren’t dead. There are more authors than ever because publishing a book is so much easier due to modern technology. Despite the influx of content, books are not consumed with the enthusiasm that they once were. While reading a story with only words might seem boring or dull, books offer a perspective of a story that no other form of entertainment can. 

Reading opens up the imagination, allowing the reader to picture the characters in the story and the scenery around them. When you’re reading, you are in control to read at whatever speed and in whatever order you see fit. 

If you allow yourself to get invested in a book, it opens up a new world with new experiences. And that’s the thing about reading that no other form of entertainment can match: reading allows you to perceive the story in your own unique way and allows you to be part of the story. 

So put down the screen and pick up a book. You just might find that you really enjoy what you find in that new world.