Reading is Knowledge and Knowledge is Power

Marcus Tullius Cicero (a Roman writer, speaker, philosopher and politician) once said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” A month ago, I probably would not have appreciated this quote as much as I do now. Getting caught up in schoolwork and other things that proved necessary, I had gone months and months without reading a good book. Not a book that I needed to read for class, but a book I personally picked out to enjoy for myself. My friend lent me a book called The Catcher in the Rye, which was fantastic. This book is a classic, and there were so many different things that someone could learn from it. After I finished that book, I realized how much I missed reading. Every book you read is another journey or adventure in which you can immerse yourself.

I figured that even though things were busy, that I should just be reading more because reading is an escape, transferring you to another world away from your everyday troubles.

                I believe sometimes when reading books we become so absorbed in them that we start to fall in love with the ideas that they express. Somehow the book transforms itself into something that is no longer paper, but something that is living and breathing and just as alive as you and me.

                Books contain so much knowledge, and knowledge is power. Ideas and knowledge make people question how things are, and make people see faults in our world, which can sometimes be a threat. Lack of knowledge can create ignorance which creates people who are easier to control.  I remember one day in my English class, somehow the topic of book burning came up. My teacher started to get very emotional about the topic. Book burning has a long and dark history and possibly one of the most famous of these events was the burning of books under the Nazi regime on May 10, 1933. It is said that any book that contained “un-German ideas” were to be burned. There is much more to it, but after hearing that all I could think of was someone’s ideas, and hard-work being burned just because people of a certain group did not agree with them. Every person will not like the same book, or agree with the content in it, but that does not mean you can take the right away from that person to explore it for themselves.

                I don’t understand when people say, “I hate reading.” How could you hate something that benefits your life so much, and helps you learn? The chances are that if you do not like reading for pleasure, you probably just have not found a really good book that is right for you. When you do, you will probably see that it is almost impossible to set it down.

                I am absolutely jubilant that I have rediscovered the true wonders of reading. Sometimes you just need a good book with which to relax, helping you escape from the real world for just a little while.