Are books an escape? Many answer yes to that question, and many others answer no. I’ve met a lot of people who study literature and think it’s stupid for an “intelligent mind” to consider literature an escape, and I’ve also met a lot of people who use it in that very way. So…are the people who read to escape “wrong”? Do they read for the “wrong reasons”?
Here are my thoughts:
As a child, I wasn’t too great at making friends, so I spend every spare second using these little transportation devices called books that could take me to a place where I didn’t feel like everyone hated me and where I was actually important. I overcame my shyness though (for the most part), and I still used books in that way. It wasn’t until I grew older that I began to realize that there was so much value I had gained from the literature without even realizing it, as well as an infinite amount I could gain if I thought about it. Books gave me compassion, kindness, honesty, and a different lens to view the world. They also made me “naturally” good at writing and English classes at school. I was (and still am) judged harshly for spending so much time reading, and those around me often view it as a silly waste of time, when I could be doing other useful things like studying hard so I could one day cure cancer. A lot of those people still don’t understand, and it’s been hard, but it hasn’t stopped me. When I’m looking for a new book to read, I often times attempt to seek diverse books that I think will expose me to new viewpoints and teach me more about the world. However, at the same time, I recognize that although I may want to learn more about a certain type of viewpoint, I will learn something from any book I were to select, not just the ones that are critically acclaimed. Romance, sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, contemporary, middle grade, young adult. The list goes on and on. And I can honestly say that there is something I have learned from EVERY book I have read, even the ones that seemed to be just for fun.
So, after this very long tangential background, my answer to the question I initially posed is: yes, books can be an escape. But that’s definitely not all they are.
P.S. feel free to share your own opinion down below, but please be respectful! 🙂