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Is anybody reading anymore?

Last night I finished a book. A a pretty epic book actually. Something that both captivated and scared the literal living daylights out of me leaving me frozen with fear, in a giant empty share house for a solid 20 minutes. Admittedly I was listening to a book as opposed to actually reading it, space is limited in my world, and audio books can go with you anywhere and everywhere, but it’s still reading. Or at least going through the process of using your imagination to conjure up images of the story that happens to be unfolding before you. In my case, I’ve spent the last week at The Overlook Hotel and there were many times I wondered whether I was actually going slowly insane. My dreams often turned to nightmares, depending on how many chapters I’d polished off that day. The high (or low point) for me was waking up thinking I had to go and check the boiler. I don’t have a boiler, but the fictional Overlook Hotel, does.

[x_pullquote type=”right”]Story telling is a talent, but great story telling, is divine.[/x_pullquote]I finished Stephen King’s, The Shining, at about 11:20pm last night. After 15 hours and 54 minutes of listening to this chilling, horrific, yet oh so wonderful story unfold, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. In that instant, I felt a massive wave of emotion wash over me. Relief for one, achievement for another, but I also realised I missed The Overlook. I missed the Torrence family, I even missed the pure evil that haunted Danny and room 217. I was missing and grieving for a world that was not real. I told a few close friends this, and they looked at me like I really had gone slightly insane, and maybe I should have stayed at the Overlook a little longer. I actually sent my sister a message, talking about the book as if it were an event that happened to me personally, her only reply was ‘omg you’re a joke’. Harsh right?

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[x_pullquote type=”left”]My dreams often turned to nightmares, depending on how many chapters I’d polished off that day. [/x_pullquote]I can’t tell you what’s happening on Master Chef, who is foolishly getting married at first sight, or who is trapped on some sort of island for a cheap shot at fame, I don’t have a TV. I’m like one of those old people who keeps banging on about their stories on the wireless. I sit out the front on my stoop, usually with a glass of wine, and get lost in a story. The confusion and lack of enthusiasm from those around me really got me thinking… Is anyone reading anymore? More accurately, is anyone reading for pure pleasure? Reading something other than the Beetota Advocate, or Buzzed articles (both of which I also enjoy) or the books we are given at school to pull apart and process for pure academic purpose. Is anyone reading just to get lost in another world for an hour or so a day, and enjoy just how powerful our imaginations are? The one thing you should never underestimate about yourself is your imagination. It will surprise, outsmart, outwit and knock your flipping socks off when you least suspect it. Story telling is a talent, but great story telling, is divine.

I wanted to write this just to put out a challenge to the people who set aside the few minutes to read this article, to read (or listen to) a book for pure pleasure this week. Fall in love with a story again. Get lost in a world that isn’t your own. I mean, I know not everyone has 16 hours spare a week to set aside to get lost in a fictional world, and I’m also sure that being paralysed by the master of horror isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but… I encourage you to read something, just because. Rediscover your imagination and allow yourself to be impressed by great storytelling. It will clear your mind of clutter, help you to switch off, and maybe by next week… you’ll be missing the Overlook too.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.