Underneath the twinkle lights woven into the wire frame of the bunk above me, nestled amongst pillows and stuffed animals of various sizes and shapes, I cannot imagine a more therapeutic, tranquil scenario. Clutched in my two warm hands is one of my latest literary acquisitions, “Better Living Through Plastic Explosives” by Zsuzsi Gartner. Two parts of my mind are focused on somewhat related ideas. The larger portion of my focus is on the content of the 216 sheets of crisp paper resting on my knees. The smaller, yet more nagging part of my mind is taking in the sensory information of my environment. The lights, the pillows, the animals, the warmth of the room…why? Why does this contribute to my mood so immensely?
What one reads is important, but how they read it is even more vital. Some read to explore ideas such as the capabilities of the unconscious mind or the concept of predisposed fate. Others read to live out fantasies and situations which they will never encounter. But all types of readers share a common bond. They all love to become enraptured within the glorious confines of a book in a cozy, pleasurable atmosphere.
In times like these, in which homo mechanicus is rampant and becoming increasingly dominant, it is more important than ever to figure out what one enjoys reading and how. Reading is an escape, yes, but an escape that can be fruitful. Discovering the right atmosphere can cause a feeling of happiness that not even the release of serotonin can match.