I’ve always loved fiction for as long as I can remember. To me, characters, albeit imaginary ones, speak more truth than the surface-level information and knowledge I get from most nonfiction books. As a kid I fell in love with them while trying to improve my English. I started reading more because I heard that reading improves your linguistic abilities. Then as I grew up, and I don’t know if it’s just me, it seems like people respect you more if you read more nonfiction than mere literature, as it implies you’ve acquired more real-world, practical and applicable knowledge rather than just reading for pleasure. I gave in to that impression and gradually lost interest in books at all.
This year, however, has been the year that I embraced my true self. I made a simple goal of reading 12 books of any kind to fall in love with books again, and I ended up with 99% fiction. As I said, reading was one way I take pleasure, and I find great joy in watching stories unfold and journeying with particular characters as they go through highs and lows in order to experience change. Like a cup of good tea, it’s been a way for me to unwind and loosen the tangled thoughts in my head. It takes my mind off myself and watching how another character as flawed as I am faces his or her challenges. I’m glad I’ve taken the plunge into worlds that only exist in the mind once again, because as Einstein famously said, imagination is more important than knowledge. Reading into characters deeply has made me a more considerate and empathetic person than I was a year ago.
Here are the pieces of literature (plus one nonfiction) I’ve read this year, listed in reading chronological order: