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To Read or Not to Read


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Reading a novel is a very personal experience. You become entrenched in the characters lives and emotions, and feel as the characters feel, as if you are a character or a bystander watching the story play out. Reading a novel is having a second, temporarily infinite life that remains (and sometimes unfortunately becomes) your first, “real life.” But to read is to forget that your “real life” is real, and to exist is defined as simply existence through the embodiment of someone else, somewhere else. This written world is unpredictable but painfully slowly accessible by flipping the pages.

The temporary infinity feels like forever in the moment- as do all wonderful things- but when novels become more tangible than your first world is when you are spiraled into a whirlpool of confusion- that is if you can ever remember your original life. If you cannot remember, then your original life becomes the novel. It is far better that way.

This transformation of worlds is so personal, that to think others have potentially experienced this similar transformation too into YOUR sacred world, is not only a logical fallacy, but undeniably angering and worrisome. It is also a mere violation of personal rights and emotions. How is that okay by any of the Gods or heavens, or the atheist non-Gods or non-heavens? It is as if some unworthy stranger pulls a John Malkovich and pickpockets the lock to your internal fence, shining the brightest of all flashlights into YOUR secret world.

The best part about a novel is that it is always there for you to go back to submerse yourself in. To dip your head into the murky, thick underwater and to forget about the unnecessary stresses of school and work. A novel is like a long time friend, or your aged grandma of a hand’s worth of decades, that you can always talk to to find comfort, and who is writhing with world experience. A novel is your warmest, fuzziest blanket tucking you in at night for a good night’s sleep blessed with fairy dust and sweet dreams. You feel invincible and safe in this world with the written words wrapping themselves around you just as a comforter would. There is no infamous bed-time monster that can get you now or a single bed bug that can even think one second about biting.

If people are all just stars and time is infinite and the sun keeps shining, then the novel is the galaxy binding life together, yet with a loose, ambiguous bind that overlaps with the edges of other unknown, yet-to-be discovered lives in deep, deep space. The novel will remain in the existence in the stars, even if the back cover has been reached one or fifty-three times.

The question is “to be or not to be” but you cannot “not to be” because you are a being in existence, maybe just unnoticed or in a temporary state of “not.” To read is to forget there is a state of “not” because life feels more real than real life itself.



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