Great Readers Are Black Holes and Pirates | Teen Ink

Great Readers Are Black Holes and Pirates

December 31, 2015
By shinelikastar SILVER, Ann Arbor, Michigan
shinelikastar SILVER, Ann Arbor, Michigan
5 articles 3 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Run my dear,
From anything
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings

Starting a new book is scary. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would admit it, even as an ardent reader. Cracking open the cover and immersing yourself into the story is intimidating to say the least. Beginning a new novel, you trail half-heartedly behind the characters as they venture into an unknown landscape that is flickering on the edges of reality. Somewhere beautiful, for sure, but it’s shrouded in an ethereal mist of doubt that dissipates as you traverse further and further into the novel. You can never quite pinpoint the moment you fall into step with the characters and start sprinting. Soon leaping, then flying deeper and deeper, trying to outrun the characters to warn them of what’s coming. You are not altogether sure either which world you’re in: the one you can touch with your fingertips, or the one you hold in your mind so very close now. Avid readers are insatiable black holes; stellar books, comet tails of companion sequels, even constellations of volumes are all never enough. They start ever so slowly, pulling books into their orbit, then, all at once, they consume them as voraciously as their counterparts in space would.

Reading a good book for the first time, is a lusty act of love, a Romeo and Juliet type of infatuation, one of which there is hardly room for second thoughts or really anything else. However, a book that is only read once is a story not meant to be; books with marvelous stories are meant to be worn down lovingly by thumbs and time, tabby-cornered, and adorned with coffee stains. The great Oscar Wilde captured this notion perfectly when he said, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over, there is no use in reading it all.” As readers, we must do books justice by rereading; literature is overflowing with beautiful jewels of words, heart-stopping moments, and breath-taking stories. The best we can do as readers is to hunt them all down, and hoard them like the treasure they are. These perfectly crafted lines, glowing pieces of magic, beg to be heard and loved.

Good readers dare to read literature that make them uncomfortable in worlds and people they are unaccustomed to. An anonymous someone once hilariously stated, “Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” We are charged with only one life in this world but whilst reading, we can live a thousand. Why waste the precious time on Earth we have to read stories to which we already know the ending? Why relive the mundane moments we already have? Readers well-versed in the craft let themselves run wild with what they conquer to read. I admit, it’s terribly uncomfortable to idly turn the pages when you’re an unwilling traveler, forced to trudge behind the characters and helplessly unable to foresee the book’s ending. It seems onerous to just march your eyes across each line but with good books, the words will always wind around you, drawing you in, gradually, intoxicatingly until they spin you into a euphoric trance. When you finally break free (if you are able to!), you do so only with the deepest of regrets and heartiest of promises of rereading. Emerging from that once mystifying world utterly transformed, you cannot wait for the next available moment, or even second, to throw yourself back in. Beautiful books do that to you-- they leave you slightly breathless but deliriously content with the experience of living its astounding contents.

Readers are adventurers, explorers following the spell-binding paths forged by brilliant authors. Though writers are the ones to first discover if a mountain’s waterfall is overflowing with velvety chocolate or molten gold, readers are the ones to fall down that waterfall screaming and return with a fleet of pirate ships, eyes-blazing, ravenous, and ready to fill treasure chests with all the riches of the story.

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