There is no feeling better than that of fully losing yourself in a book; head down, entirely absorbed in someone’s fantasy world.
From when I first started reading, back in the day of “Biff and Chip” to the more recent times when I have ventured across the likes of Jilly Cooper and even dabbled in some “Fifty Shades”; I have always loved books.
However, I have not always found this immersion into another dimension so easy.
Recovering from a brain injury can make reading somewhat difficult. When I first awoke from my coma I could not even see further than the end of the bed, let alone read words on pages. After having my eyes closed for fourteen weeks, it was difficult to focus on a point and make out an object without it being a complete blur. Perhaps it doesn’t help that since then I have also managed to acquire a stigmatism in my left eye, which has, in turn, made me the proud owner of a lovely pair of spectacles.
Another aspect that is hindered after a brain injury is that of concentration. It feels like all the words are floating around on the page. This makes it near on impossible to read one word at a time, let alone make those words form proper sentences in your head. Then there is the predicament of actually understanding the plot and being able to remember what has happened on the previous page. Whilst this has improved greatly, it did tend to lead onto abundant amounts of time reading the same sentence again. And again. And again.
In hospital it appeared that I was the world’s fastest reader. I was so speedy that I had been known to read a novel from cover to cover within the hour. When my family came to visit the Nurse would say, “You need to bring in Elizabeth another book, she has read the entire Harry Potter series in a week”. We all realise now that this was not possible. However, all is not lost. Although I may not have been actually reading, I was portraying the behaviours that were essential if I wanted to start reading again. Whilst volunteering at the Local Primary School I was told that even just turning the pages of a book correctly is a step in the right direction. I suppose you have to start somewhere.
Now that I can read again, I am trying to make the most of it. It seems just right then that Thursday brings about World Book Day. The perfect time for everyone to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to start and take the time to read. Perhaps this year I will make a start on something a little less Jilly Copperish, something more thought provoking. I will immerse myself in a way that I would not have been able to do just a couple of years ago.
For me, reading isn’t just about the act of physically reading; it is about the journey that you take whilst you are engulfed in another world. This World Book Day I cannot wait to take the plunge into a new and mysterious adventure, and I hope you will all join me.