How Reading Can Be An Escape

How Reading Can Be An Escape

Kennedy Klein, Staff Writer

Everyone has had a connection to reading at one point in their life. Whether it was sitting in their parent’s lap while Llama Llama Red Pajama was being read to them, or reading a book about animals while the teacher would moo like a cow and meow like a cat. 

For me, it was a book about a dragon. I would lay in bed, tucked tightly under the covers, while my mother would sit by my feet. She would hold the book that she once read to my sister. She would sing the words of the book, replicating the CD placed safely inside the cover of Puff the Magic Dragon

Books, when we truly take time to recall, hold memories and a part of ourselves. These books that we read when we were younger were an escape from the monsters in the closet. They were a gate covered in vines leading to a place where there was only peace and safety. 

But these are books of our childhood. So what of books now? Do they hold the same security, the same place to hide when the monsters of the world become too real for us to handle? While they might not protect us from evil with cottages made of sweets, books can still be an escape.

In the world today, sometimes it may feel like there is no escape; that we are trapped in a reality that seems to never get better nor never end. But think back to your childhood, and those stories you once read. While they might not shield you from the harsh realities of the world, books can be a distraction to help you cope.

Reading can be something someone can immerse themselves in. Instead of our minds being consumed by thoughts of a virus which has affected each of our lives, they can be filled with thoughts of a land separated from ours. 

Personally, reading has never come easy to me. When I was little I hated having to read. I would often turn my nose up when my mom, an English teacher, would give me a suggestion. 

However, a few years ago, I was walking through a bookstore because my family had dragged me along with them when I saw a book I had seen one of my friends read. For reasons I can’t remember why, I decided to get it. 

Even though it was by my own volition, I started to begrudgingly read it in the car. I then found myself staying up reading it; I couldn’t put it down. After that I couldn’t stop reading. 

I was able to become absorbed by the words and the stories. Reading allowed me to briefly forget what the reality of life was like.

I find, in times like these, reading has become a useful outlet. When I am stressed, reading gives me a break. When I am bored, reading is often what I find myself doing.

And no matter what, there is always a book that fits what I want to read at that moment.

Whether you want to read a retelling of a classic tale, or if you want to read a book about a fantasy land, any book can become an escape and place to hide when everything else becomes suffocating.

A beautiful story incorporating a Shakspearan aspect is If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio. It is a story that instantly immerses you in a world of drama, on and off stage.

Another story that has elements of Shakespeare is These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. This fantasy book is a wonderful retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

Madeline Miller is often known for her poetically written retellings of Greek Mythology. The Song of Achilles is a heartbreaking story of Patroclus and Achilles, and Circe incorporates various Greek myths, told from the perspective of the witch Circe.

A book that involves thieves, heists, friendship, and love is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This book will not only make you laugh and smile, but also cry for the characters. While there is humor and wit, there is also hardship.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a wonderful sapphic tale of a woman making her way through Hollywood in the 1950’s, learning about herself and the cruel world around her.