I used to read all the time when I was a kid. Mostly novels and the occasional comic book. I stopped reading for fun around the end of high school. Reading was soon only for academics and professional development. And no matter how many times I would treat myself to a little magic date in a cozy bookstore, I just couldn’t get back into reading again. It was scary. I had been reading for my education for so long that I forgot how to read for joy. It just felt like more work.
My husband buys me a book every year for Christmas and I haven’t read most of them even though they sound awesome. The first one I finally read was a graphic novel he got me last year about stories from Guantanamo Bay. The beautiful illustrations made those heavy stories more digestible and compelling. I finished it in a day. I remember wondering when the last time I felt that excited about reading was. – Then I told myself that it doesn’t count because it has pictures. *facepalm*
But despite being mean to myself, it made me want to seek out more comics, and then I started to learn that comics are not just for fun, but crucial for important storytelling. Comics can provide context and perspective when your imagination shouldn’t necessarily be filling in all the blanks. What you picture in your mind might not do the story justice. Or you’re reading about something so difficult you literally can’t imagine what you’re reading. That’s why you need comics like MARCH and MAUS and Guantanamo Voices. Those comics started me on a journey to educate myself about serious issues.
And obviously, comics are great when you’re after classic fiction. Comics like SAGA and INVINCIBLE helped me get in touch with my inner hero. I felt seen watching these characters figure out how to be good people in such difficult circumstances. Those inspired and validated my beliefs that love and happiness can be your greatest ambitions in life.
All of this is to say that if you didn’t know already, comics aren’t just a kid’s thing. And since I started reading comics I’ve had fun reading novels again too. Comics rekindled my love of reading and I don’t know if I would have gotten it back without them. So if you’re feeling stuck, I recommend going to your local comic bookshop and seeing what you find. Or you can check out my very small and incomplete reading list:
ANY BOOKS FROM THE NIB.COM BOOKSTORE
By the way, comics and audiobooks are always a valid form of reading!
Photo Cred: Dreamtimes.com