Saturday, April 20, 2013
Reading for Solace or Escape?
This weeks' events have been, objectively speaking, horrifying. Boston, the failed Senate vote for gun control, Texas, and now another earthquake in China... and these are just the events that I've heard of. Who knows how many countless other tragedies less public have occurred?
For sure, times like these are not meant to be borne alone. The blogging community is just one of the many communities each of us belongs to that can help us bear the weight of knowing how much evil or senseless wrongdoing there is in the world at times. But, being the bookworms that we are, we also know how comforting a good book can be when the world makes you want to cry.
Books serve many purposes. They can entertain. They can educate. They can comfort us and make us feel less alone by sharing with us characters who we relate to, who have gotten through the situations that we're currently struggling with with wisdom to share. And they can take us away when our lives, our emotions, our problems are a little too overwhelming for us to deal with for the moment.
Yesterday, while I continuously refreshed Reddit to check on the latest updates about the manhunt for the Boston marathon bombers, I kept one hand firmly on the comforting cover of my Kindle, glad to know that, at any time of day, there were always books for me to turn to. And that made me wonder the question that I'd love you to answer as well: In hard times, do you tend to read books for solace or for escape?
Me, I think I'm an escape kind of reader. In particular, when the world is going crazy and I need to take a break from it, I devour fantasies like no one's business. The more intricate the world-building--the more characters whose unusual names and social positions I have to remember--the better. (The Song of Ice and Fire books are great for this task.) The time I can take away from the world refreshes and energizes me for when I return to deal with it.
It's your turn now, because I'm curious. How do books help you through your tough times? Are they dispensers of advice through relatable characters and their situations, or are they a temporary refuge so that you can recharge? Does it differ according to the scenario?