I am a voracious reader. I can actually track the beginning of my love affair with the written word back to a particular moment in childhood. My brother Jared and I were fighting over the TV; he wanted it off and I wanted it on. We stood there flipping the switch off, on, off, on, off, on, until we hear a soft pop and the screen went gray. The TV was dead- not broken, but completely dead. Although Mom claims it was only 6 months, we endured what must have been, at the very least, a year with no TV. That is when I started reading.
My mom is also quite a reader so I began with all of the kids books we had in the house and then continued on with Mom's numerous bookshelves. I think the only series she recommended I hold off from was Dune. I was still pretty young and she was afraid it would give me nightmares. At any given time of day or night you would find me curled up with a book. I often brought one to the dinner table (hidden on my lap), to church and any ride in the car.I would willingly go to bed at night--my parent's just had to confiscate the flashlight and my current book in order for me to go to sleep.
As I got older I figured out something that I received while I was reading: a means of escape. My life is not awful by any stretch of the imagination, I am actually quite happy for the most part. However, in difficult times (ie: my parent's divorce, bouts of depression, a bad break-up, etc.) I have found I can read myself through my frustration and pain. Reading gives me a place where I can go to not think, to clear my head, to live on borrowed emotions until I can regain some perspective. Sometimes a good book for me is just a place to hide for a while. That is part of the reason why when reading for fun I choose light and mostly happy material. Granted I was a Russian Lit major, but reading for school is a completely different story.
Does you have a favorite escape?