My eyebrows can barely muster the strength to raise themselves when seeing a ’50 shades of Grey’ book flaunted (rather shamelessly) around the high street or in the hands of a skinny-Americano drinker in Costa. And yet, as soon as the front cover of ‘Twilight’ is visible in your hands – or any other book which has a black background, red spots (supposedly blood stains), a girl staring longingly into your eyes and a one-word title like ‘Salvation’ on the cover – your social status has gone to hell. Quite literally. Those times when you wish the ground would swallow you up? That’s exactly what happened to the chances of you being thought of as a mature adult ever again. Passers-by instantly have images of you wearing ‘BITE ME ROBERT PATTINSON’ t-shirts engrained into their minds; friends worry for your sanity because you, like me, have a guilty pleasure: Supernatural books.
In short, ordinary books bore me into oblivion. Girl meets boy, they flirt, they break up, then (most likely at a train station or an airport) they reconcile – happy days. It’s so typical and guessable, whereas I prefer something that lets my imagination run wild rather than filling up my tear ducts. As I scour Waterstones for the latest releases, I can practically feel myself being set into the mould of ‘typical teenage girl’. Over the years I’ve been called ‘daydreamer’ more often than my name – but someone once said ‘reading is dreaming with open eyes’ – which is so true yet so false. You wake up from a dream with such clarity that all you can remember is a blurred mess, trying to remember it would be like to try and catch smoke – it moves away the second you touch it. But with a book? For days after you’ve finished reading you’re still thinking about the characters, the ending – you reread the smallest paragraph to dig deeper in the character’s personality. If I’m a dreamer, then a book is my extraordinary way to escape an ordinary world. I’m not much of an I-want-to-cry-intentionally reader, but John Green’s books are something of a phenomenon for me – and although he somehow can’t resist killing someone off in every book – he makes you think so much more about simple things. In ‘The Fault In Our Stars’, I was at a loss when my eyes reached the remains of the last page and I had to close the book. I can’t deny that it was a change, but I wouldn’t be able to read this style forever, because real life situations can only end in so many ways – I doubt any of his characters would be summoned to the City of Bones, or reveal that they’re only half human.
When I was younger, I believed that only books with chapters were ‘proper’ books, so I did what an normal child would do: I bought ‘Mona the Vampire’ books (much to the dismay of my mum). And even though everyone has a secret wish to be able to understand and recite Shakespeare on the spot, read the great literary wonders of the world and express your love for poetry to that guy you bumped into at the coffee shop – that will never be my true style. So whilst others literally judge my books by their cover – I’m using my imagination, what on earth happened to yours?
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