Four things books have taught me


Forever my teacher and constant companion, a book is never far from my hands, and it has been like that for years. Ever since I could read, I’ve inhaled the words off pages. Devouring those words is as necessary to me as the oxygen I breathe. It didn’t matter whether I was walking up stairs or relaxing on a boat, my nose was permanently buried in a book.

Despite the cliche, books really do take you to a whole new world and on a whole new adventure. Indirectly, I experienced the peaks and pits of life. So, here are the four quotes to help explain the things books have taught me.

1.“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I started reading Harry Potter in first grade, younger than most kids do. By “reading,” I mean my dad reading aloud to me because they were too complex for someone of my age and skill. I would love to say I was instantaneously infatuated, but my dislike for the series made me love it even more later. As I grew up, I reread the series more times than I could count. There was so much to adore: the friendships, subtle romance, loyalty, adventure, hope, and despair. But I’ve found the main message of the books lies within that quote.

To me, it means to indulge in the present. Wishing away time just leads to regret. You can’t go backward, but you can go forward.  Dreams will retain their intangibility until you decide to make them happen. But what if that is all you do? Planning and patience obscure passion. Passion does not take kindly to be ignored. Passion is the loud thumping on the door, trying to drag you away from delusions.

2.“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.” Leigh Bardugo, Siege and Storm

This applies to anything. I tried and tried to figure out how to turn these words into other words to explain the way these words have taught and inspired me. It seemed impossible– no, improbable– to do.

You see, everything is impossible until someone does it. Sometimes, it just takes one person to prove they can to start a chain reaction. For example, going to the moon was improbable. Mankind did that. The Aura Borealis, the natural phenomenon of light, was improbable. The world did that. So, what’s your goal? It may be improbable, but it’s definitely not impossible. You can do it.

Isn’t that what adventure is all about? You go away from the probable, in search of the implausible. When you tell your story, they say impossible.

3.“It is pointless to believe what you see if you only see what you believe. ” Marie Lu, The Young Elites

To me, this is a call to expand the confines of what you know. Small mindedness never did anyone any favors. There are always two sides to every story. If you break down the wall in your mind, you stand to gain so much. Compassion and generosity come easier. Acceptance is natural.

4.“Better terrible truths than kind lies.” Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

The truth will always be better than lies, no matter how happy they make someone else. That lie turns their happiness a lie, and nobody wants to live a lie. Technically, the credit of this life lesson goes to my mom, but I never truly understood what a gift her truth was until books. While the situations are far less dire in my life as opposed to books, it was the extremes that made me realize how important the truth can be.

Just as I carry books, I carry these tidbits with me too.