By Zahra Arshad
Books are amazing – the characters, the worlds they transport us to and the plots the author’s cleverly convince us of. What else could you want? Some days, I don’t really know if my love for books is a blessing or a curse; once I find that special book I never want to put it down. But for those few days I’m transported somewhere else; my imagination takes control and I fall into the world that the writer has created. So, a blessing yes; you meet so many amazing characters that help you to relax and de-stress. I love books and I always have, but sometimes, the obsession can be exhausting, heartbreaking, frustrating and mind-blowing all at once.
Many book lovers have those books they read over and over, that they never get tired of talking about, that they recommend to their friends. Many have TBR piles – To Be Read – which tend to get a bit out of hand. What does the average person read in a week, a month? What would their piles look like? Two, maybe three novels stacked up. I don’t think mine could ever look like that – Its currently at 36. Althought I love coming across hidden gems that i’ve never heard of before, when I read book reviews, spot books I’ve never seen before and find out about new releases, all hell breaks loose. My reading list increases and organisation goes right out of the window.
For me, the love of books started when I was a child. At that time, I could read whenever I wanted, with little to no interruptions. I had no worries, no expectations. I could get through almost two books per day. It was just all one big dream until the pressures of high school. I still had time to read, not as much, but still enough to be satisfied. Next came college and I literally spent all of my time completing assignments and revising for exams. Two years went by and I still had a pile of books – most brand new – in my room calling to me, but I ignored the pull while missing it all the same. Now at university, although I’m busy, I have more time on my hands which is a great opportunity for me to pick up a book and get stuck right back in.
Most of us have faced the disappointments of waiting for the next book in a series only to then read it and not like the ending. But the one major thing I am dubious about is novel adaptations. Whether I loved or hated the movie version, if your favourite book is turned into a movie, you probably have very strong feelings about the process. In many cases, I’ve found that I’ve waited years for my favourite book to be released on screen, only to see how extremely different it is. It is easy for book-lovers to get frustrated when we don’t see our favourite book played out before us exactly how we remember it. Many novels are actually better than their adaptations, these include The Hunger Games series, the Divergent series, If I stay, 13 Reasons Why, Red Riding Hood, Vampire Academy, and I am Number 4.
The life of a book-lover can be very challenging and rewarding. Words can be a drug; always saying: ‘Just one more chapter and then I’ll stop.’ Most times after I say this, what feels like moments later I’ve read an entire book and it’s 11pm.
I always find packing a suitcase a challenge; it is totally necessary to have two suitcases, one for supplies and the other for books. It’s good to be prepared, as I don’t know if just two novels will be enough for those five days away. Even if it’s just a long weekend, you never know what can happen and so it’s important to be ready and have plenty of reading material.
Many book lover’s have that one character we rooted for, that one character’s death that haunts us. A fictional death may not seem too bad, but to bookworms it can be heartbreaking. Some deaths are so hard to get over, such as Dumbledore, Prim, Beth, and Augustus.
When you finally finish a book, it’s like the end of the world, as you have shared ups and downs, laughs and tears. While the great whirlwind love affair may end on the final page, the memories will linger on while you start to look for your next read.