(this was my speech for a class)(also I was super proud of it in written form despite the disjointedness of it)
“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”
-Margaret Atwood, “A Handmaid’s Tale”
Today, I’m going to talk about the time I journeyed through modern literature to find self-insight.
This was an experience that was a complex mix of emotion, inspiration, and enlightenment.
Years ago, some weekend in the fall, and I know for sure it was fall because reds, oranges and browns litter my memory of this event.
On the way home from visiting one of my uncles, my family and I stopped at a bookstore.
I remember this trip was different from ones in the past because I had decided that instead of getting books by well-known authors of just the mystery genre, I would try something new and get something from each genre, and of authors I did not know.
After finishing a lot of the books that same day, I was thinking over a lot of the things I had read and I felt enlightened and emotionally charged.
Each author despite different genres talk about abstract concepts, like life, death, all these things. But, each were able to describe the beauty in the collective human experience.
What it means to be human, to feel, and to experience the world around us. I could hear the authors’ voices swirling around in my head. Each with a different perspective and view on the world, it was explosive.
It was emotional in that you could feel pain, happiness, rage, elation, and all these emotions through the characters the authors had crafted and it was beautiful.
I had always loved reading but because of this experience, I was better able to understand the circumstances of the world around me and gain a tolerance for situations I might not know enough to judge.
This experience was a journey in and of itself, a journey of really self-insight and discovery.
I think that stories and novels, if written well, can really broaden one’s view of the world around us.
Happy National Read-A-Book Day.