How Reading Shaped my Point of View

 

Reading has become the big part of my life and my reading life has changed overtime, so is my point of view. In today’s post, I’m going to participate in a weekly meme called Let’s Talk Bookish. Let’s Talk Bookish is a meme hosted by Rukky @ Eterntiy Books!

Like I said earlier, my reading life has changed overtime. The first time I picked a book is when I was eight. At that time, I didn’t think a book could change my life but looking back at it, the books I read from my childhood shaped my point of view. When I was still in elementary school, I saw the world as white and black and I always believed that good people would always win, no matter unfortunate they are. This was the result of reading too many children and middle grade books, with the same theme over and over again. Even though, I felt like it was me against the world (emo kids what’s up) because of the circumstance that happened in my childhood, I believed there would be a light at the end of tunnel.

Moving on to my middle school year, I started reading metropop (or metropolitan pop; similar to new adult but more suitable to younger audiences) and teenlit (or teen literature, similar to YA contemporary but only focuses on friendship and romance, rather than serious issues. The main characters are all under 15 years old). This was the first time I was introduced to the idea of love; that it was different from having a crush, thanks to local romance books I read.

At that time, every metropop books I read had one similarity: rich and high-paid people fall in love with each other and have their own happily ever after. It made me believe that in attempt to be successful and have my own happily ever after; I had to do things the heroine in the novels did. The good news is, I pursued my dream to graduate from top 10 universities in my country so I could have high-paid jobs, date my CEO and be happy. My younger self thought that being rich is the key to happiness.

I started reading YA when I was in high school. I stopped reading metropop and teenlit behind—I even barely read Indonesian books until now. It was also the first time I started reading imported or English books. Aside from how my English developed, I became aware of serious issues the world have. From mental illness to genocide, I was aware how many people suffered from them. True, I learned these issues from my textbook, but I didn’t know the aftermath from these issues. I added more genres to my reading list, such as fantasy, scifi dan historical fiction. My point of view changed, I did not think being rich is the key to happiness anymore.

Topics like LGBT rights and Black Lives Matter were the topics that I read a lot on my high school years. I learned a lot from YA novels and I could say that these books shaped me as a person. I did not longer see the world as black and white anymore, instead I realized how messed the world we live in is.

I learned a lot of life lessons as well. Reading YA books throughout my high school life felt like having a friend who constantly supported and was there for me. I learned to let go of things I couldn’t control, about how to find who I am, about life after high school.

Now that I’m 20, I still read YA and start reading new adult as well. I’m glad many authors discussed serious topics on their books. With many of authors of colors and diverse books out there, for the first time, I’m happy mainstream media now is more inclusive than before.

I haven’t read enough non-fiction books, considering I started reading them this year. But, Filosofi Teras is the only non-fiction books that really change my point of view so far. This book teached me about stoicism and I try to practice this philosophy to my day-to-day life.

Speaking of new informations, even though I only read fictional books, don’t think I didn’t learn something new every time I read a book. Thanks to Percy Jackson, I bought more greek mythology inspired novels and non-fiction books. Thanks to historical fictions I read, I realized I searched for the events that occured on the novels and studied them for hours. My point is that, even though I read a lot of fiction books, it doesn’t mean I am not educated. I learn something here too.

Not only my point of view, reading also brings me more friends. I’m involved in online book community and found amazing friends there. I also learned how to manage my time and money to buy and read books. It’s amazing how this whole activity affects my life this much.

Least but not last, reading to me is not only a hobby, but a need. After working 8 hours a day and socializing, reading a book is something I need at the end of the day. It’s one of my ways to recharge myself, in my opinion, it equals to putting a sheetmask after a long day.

 

 

I’d like to hear from you!

What about you? Has reading changed your life and point of view? Is there any book that is an eye-opening to you? Let me know in the comment section below!

And we’re reaching the end of the post!

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