“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
When you get exhausted by the noisy surrounding and want to liberate yourself from it, all you need is a quiet time alone, away from the real world, a place where nobody will disturb you. And that place does not have to be a realistic one. Maybe you are relaxing at a place where many other people are also sitting around you, but virtually, you are alone, enjoying your time peacefully by reading a book.
In today’s fast-paced life, it is very important to have some time with yourself. You do not have to be an introvert to enjoy time alone. In fact, you can pass the time with yourself while surrounding yourself with the friends or family members.
For some people, listening to the calm classical music is the best way to spend some time alone. For others, watching a good serial on TV can be sufficient. And for many, including myself, reading is the means of having an enjoyable time with one’s self. It cultivates my mind about how I see the world. For me, what happens in the fictional stories is not only a work of an artist’s imagination, but it is the reflection of the events taking place around me, and I think we can learn a lot from it. Reading novels is an important way to understand what it feels like to go through a certain situation without actually having to go through it.
According to a research conducted by the Washington University in St. Louis, people experience a genuine feeling in their minds when they read the novels because their minds respond to the occurrences in the stories as if they were happening in their own life. That is why, while reading, you sometimes find yourself in tears when the protagonist is going through a difficult situation. And sometimes, you unknowingly smile facing the book maybe since your unconscious mind is experiencing the beautiful view of nature described in the story.
A novel does not have to be full of suspense for it to stay in the reader’s heart for a long time, but, a simple story with a small mystery and a calm setting also works. There should be an uncertainty about something that makes the reader curious, because, without it, there would be no reason to read the novel. Whether it’s an action-packed story about a war that took place in the countryside or a short tale written in the humorous style, it should bring some thoughts to the reader’s mind.
A novel should be about something a reader can relate to. A thought-provoking book makes the person enjoy reading it again and again. Each time you read it, you get a new feeling. In every paragraph, it opens a new door of your mind and takes you away into a world of imagination. It gives you the time to understand the psychology of the characters.
It is untrue that a simple and short story cannot be thrilling; it can give you a strong moral lesson as well as an experience of a perfect adventure. One example is the “Old Man and the Sea” by one of the famous American novelists Ernest Hemingway. Although the story of this novel is set in a calm place, — a boat on the sea — there are many dreadful situations in the novel. The old man — an experienced fisherman — who fails to catch any fish for many days goes on a long journey on the sea. On his way, he successfully catches a big Marlin fish and kills it. But until he reaches his destination, the sharks in the sea eat the Marlin, and he once again reaches the home empty-handed. But, in the end, it teaches a lesson to the reader that although the hero of the novel was physically defeated, he succeeded spiritually.
If you want to spend some time alone with yourself, then all you need is a good novel and a cup of coffee. Today, reading a book has many advantages to your mental health. Just like an exercise is important for your bodily health, reading is good for your emotional health.
About the author:
Mehmaiz Ali is a student of journalism at the University of the Punjab and a freelance writer. Twitter: @Mehmaiz