my relationship with reading

Throughout elementary school and middle school, I was an avid reader. If I was waiting for class to start or had just finished my homework, you could rest assured that my nose would be in a book. Once I got into high school though, that completely changed. I started picking up books less and less until I stopped picking them up altogether. I wouldn’t even read the things that were required of me for my English / Literature classes, I would as many people did, rely on Sparknotes.

There are a couple of reasons that I stopped reading. One of those reasons was that I didn’t like that I had to read certain books within a certain amount of time. However, that wasn’t the main reason that I quit reading. The main reason that I fell into a reading slump that lasted for around five years was because I was dealing with depression. It wasn’t as bad when I was in high school because I was comfortable there: I had my friends, my town, and my teachers. When I got into college everything sort of shifted.

I went from a small town with less than thirty kids in each class, all of whom I had known for over a decade, to a massive university with classes of strangers that held almost four times as many people as I was used to. The size was enough to scare anyone during that transition, but add the fact that there were people whose views (political, religious, etc.) were different from my own.

It is during this time that I went through what I’ll call a quarter-life crisis. I began to question almost everything about my identity, and I began to question many of my thoughts and actions. I saw things that I had never seen before, like people in heated debates over the existence of God, because where I’m from that’s a given. My identity being questioned is what sent me into a depression that spiraled out of control, and I still don’t have many of the answers that I have been trying to find.

However, I have been trying to get myself back on track, and not let myself to continue to spiral. There are answers that I still don’t have, but regardless I am trying to find myself again, which is why I started picking up books. I used to turn to books as a form of entertainment; now, I turn to them for so much more. I turn to them for escapism, self-discovery, knowledge, understanding, and the comfort of knowing that I’m not alone.

In the comment section, I’d like to know what your relationship with reading has been like. So, if you’re comfortable sharing and would like to add to the discussion, please join in and comment; also, if you have made a post about this topic please leave a link to your post so that I can go and read it.

Lauren Hope

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