I don’t know how many of you recall the rubber bracelet trend – Live Strong was probably the most popular. I was a teen at the time and disinterested. That is, until one day at Barnes & Noble they had pale purple ones engraved with “Reading is magic.” I was sold.
I wore that thing until it broke and even after that, I kept it in a little memento box for a while. It might even still be in that box. Not only is purple my favorite color, but finally, there was a bracelet whose message truly called to the ghostly beast inside me that one could loosely be called a soul.
It’s a phrase I still use today (I almost had it tattooed on me but opted for “read forever write forever,” but who knows, I may get it someday!) especially when non-readers ask me why I enjoy reading.
As a kid, I desperately wished magic was real – even before Hogwarts hit the literary scene. I just wanted something fantastical to happen and spent time daydreaming what I would use my limitless powers for. If I’m honest, as an adult I still daydream about it.
But it is real, at least on some level. Reading is magic! I know there are quotes abound about how reading is a form of transport, portable magic, escape, etc. And it’s true!
When I watch a movie, it might distract me long enough to pull me into the story (I’ll admit I’m not much a movie person anymore) but I’m always aware that I’m sitting in a theater or on my couch watching.
With books – not only good ones, but bad ones too – I feel transported. I lose myself in the words and my mental images are usually so strong that I tend to forget about my surroundings. If the characters are particularly well-written, I find myself feeling what they feel, or feeling deeply for them. Words on paper, bound into a neat little package have the ability to take me to space, to fantasy worlds, deep into nightmares; they can make me laugh or cry, they can make me grumpy or angry because I feel like what’s happening in the story is happening to me; they can break my heart.
If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.
I just wanted to remind myself, and you, fellow readers, that even when things are grim and the going gets tough, we do have a little piece of magic available to help us through.