Other Worlds Than These
When an author puts pen to paper, their thoughts and emotions merge with the ink as it flows onto the pristine surface, the tabula rasa. And when one reads their work, it is as if the author, even if long assed away, is whispering their visions through the pages. Reading is so much more than an exercise for the eyes; it is a journey into the mind of an artist.
Reading has always been an integral part of my life. When I was young, I enjoyed nothing more than opening the pages of my favourite book and delving into the adventures contained within. My heroes ranged from the humble Winnie the Pooh to the rulers of Asgard found in a book on Norse mythology. The more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. It eventually got to the point that my parents threatened to take away my entire bookshelf if I did not stop reading under the covers with a flashlight. But I could not put the book down, and soon found myself in a room with no books. For the next few days, I found myself watching a lot more television, trying desperately to fill the voice of adventure and wonder I had found in reading.
A few days later, my books were returned to me. I promised that I would not stay up late reading again. Of course, I lied. My books, my glorious addiction, simply could not be ignored. At school, I searched out classmates who had read the same stories as I had, so that we could pretend we were the books’ characters and go on fantastic adventures. This was when my creativity really started to blossom. I began to see potential for wonder and incredible experiences in everything, not just between the pages of a book.
Now, I still read, less as entertainment, but as a way fro my mind to absorb ideas and imaginings, in order to apply them to my everyday life. Once in awhile, I’ll pick up a fun spy novel and read it for what it is: “bubblegum for the brain,” as my mother puts it. Though most of the time, I read to examine the art and effort that went into making the written masterpiece. I am never without a book nearby, always craving to learn more, to find new worlds.
Literature for me is much more than machine-printed words on paper, put on the market to make a buck or two. It is a message, sent out to the world, saying “Hey! Wake up! You’re not seeing everything here!” They then show us the realms of reality that our minds can grasp if we can open them to the endless possibilities that await us. Books are the vehicles for these ideas, these imaginings, their spines holding the backbone of the written art. Literature is not only important to me, but to the whole of human society. Imagine the epidemic of ignorance if Gutenberg had not created the printing press. The ideas contained in literature, from Shakespeare to Steinbeck and all other masters of words, are the foundation of our consciousness, and without them we would crumble.
“Go then. There are other worlds than these,” says Jake in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. These other worlds are not as far as one would think. Contained within the pages of a book, they are reflections of how we see the world, and the infinite potential that the universe holds in store. The storyteller is king, for they are the ones who open our eyes to these possibilities.