Losing Yourself In Literature
Do you ever use books as escapism?
I do. When my mind is too loud and horrible to bear I turn to beloved stories to provide comfort. As I skim the well-worn pages I inhabit a world different from my own, and for a while I can be absorbed elsewhere; feeling the injustice of Anne Elliott or the heartbreak of any number of Cecelia Ahern characters. Harry Potter is a particular favourite in these times, I wrap the familiar stories around me as they were a comfort blanket: protection from the world that I don't always find easy to live in.
Fiction is often derided, particularly light hearted novels or 'easy reads'. But the benefits of reading even the most frivolous of fictional stories are numerous. It is an escape from the screen, or from reality; a change of venue. More than that, it allows us to inhabit someone else's mind, and thus increases our ability to empathise. When we vicariously experience the emotions of others it allows us to expand our horizons, and to gain a better understanding of what it feels like to go through different situations. This is scientifically proven, and I adore that I have even more justification to get lost in a good book. I sense I'm not the only one.
So this January don't be surprised if you find me buried nose-deep in a novel somewhere, delighting in the story unfolding before me.