What I Gain From Reading

By: Shelby Hillers

“Books give us the panoramic spectrum of possibilities for encountering life in a new way.”J. Michael Martin

I accidentally stumbled across this quotation recently (we always seem to find the best things when we’re least expecting it). At first, I read the quote and I thought ‘Yes of course’ but then it really sank in what J. Michael Martin captured in this one sentence. Books show us so much; they show us different ways of living life and with that new perspectives. If a book can show you a different way of viewing something you’ve seen for years, then I think that book has done its job and deserves awards. Because that’s one of the amazing things books can do, isn’t it? Teach you how someone else is living their life or different lifestyles that are happening right now. And if you’re just that much more aware of someone else’s view point, then I also think that you’ve gained an amazing experience as well.

For class, I’m reading three different literary journals- Witness, The Sun, and Hotel Amerika. I greatly encourage all of them and also encourage anyone checking out their websites as well. But within these journals written from poets and writers from around the country, I started realizing ‘Wow I’m not the only one who thought this.’ It’s both self-alarming and somewhat insulting to think most of your thoughts aren’t that original but when you realize the bigger picture, its way more comforting. You’re not alone in the literary world. In fact, someone has most likely had the same thought and was able to write it down beautifully. You realize just how much you can relate to these characters. You realize how many situations you can relate to. You realize that you can relate.

Books are amazing. They’re a way of escaping reality. They’re a form of expression. They provide us, as J. Michael Martin so nicely said, “spectrum of possibilities for encountering life in a new way.” And I can’t wait to pick up my next book, whatever it may be-there’s no limits when it comes to books, and learn a new way to view this not-so-boring world anymore.

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Shelby Hillers is the Online Assistant Editor for BrickHouse Books where she helps manage Facebook, Twitter, and the blog. She is a senior at Towson University majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. Her works have been published by The TowerlightLimerence Magazine, and TU Career Center’s co-written blog The Thriving Tiger.

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