From Children’s Book to the Mature Stories – Why I Love to Read Novels and Comic Books

Greetings Fellow ComixBawse!

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I loved to read Curious George and Arthur books—as a matter of fact, I still have those books. My mom kept all of our—I have a twin sister—books from childhood. I plan to keep them even though I don’t plan on ever having children. I like to pick them up, blow the dust off, and thumb through them every once in a while. I’m 23 years old now, and last year my sister and I pulled out one of our favorites, Curious George Makes Pancakes by H.A. Rey & Margret Rey. We sat on her bed and I read it aloud. I’m not sure what I find so intriguing about that story. I don’t know if it’s because I get to read about pancakes (one of my favorite breakfast foods, although I’ve eaten them for dinner on some occasions) or if it’s how cute George is. Pancakes brought a smile to his face and they still bring a smile to both my face and stomach (they make my thighs frown though). Or maybe it’s George’s whimsical and carefree nature that I find most interesting. Yes, that’s it! Reading the story not long ago, brought me back to a time when I had no worries. I didn’t have to think about the stress that builds up as I try to meet deadlines, or the argument I had with my boyfriend two nights ago, or the next argument I’m going to have with my sister about one of us forgetting to refill the tissues in the bathroom OR making sure I’ve completed each intricate step of my graduate applications. Either way . . . my life was much simpler ten plus yeas ago.

But, why do I love reading in general? Hmm.

Thinking, thinking . . . AHA! 

Reading helps me escape the world for a few hours at a time. While I read, I get the chance to live someone else’s reality for a change and if it’s a stellar read, I’ll find that I’m wishing I could make a miniature version of myself and actually jump into the story myself. This isn’t to say that my life is boring, it’s not. It’s just nice to get away from normalcy every now and again. In those few hours, I can pretend I have no responsibilities; I cut myself off from my surroundings and dive in. In short, it’s a hell of a lot of fun for me.

Maybe if I’ve had a bad day, where a customer was rude to me or I’m anxious about which grad school I’ll be accepted into or my self-confidence is low for some reason or another, I like to come home and continue reading The Gift of Imperfections: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed To Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown. It’ll lift my spirits and let me float through the rest of day (I highly recommend this self-help book by the way).

But what about if I’ve had a really awesome day?

Then, I’ll go pick up a sad story like Sad Peninsula by Mark Sampson (also a phenomenal read, check it out) and immerse myself into someone else’s despair. You might be thinking, why in the heck would you want to make yourself sad? I’m not trying to be sad, but rather I’m attempting to make a shift in my emotions just to experience something different. Like I may have eaten a nice, unhealthy, greasy slice of pizza for lunch, but later I’m going to have a salad. They both taste good . . . they’re just different and they make me feel different.

Comics books though, are a completely different type of experience for me. I don’t feel like I attach my emotions to them in the same way that I do with novels. I feel like I’m trying to get a sense of the writer’s emotions and purpose instead. When I want to live vicariously through someone else I’ll pick up a comic book. I don’t as an outsider necessarily, but maybe a lurker or a peeping Tom? That sounds creepy, but it’s the word I thought of in the moment. Hehe. For me, I find myself doing more analyzing when I read a comic. I ask myself: What’s the deeper meaning? What themes are present here? Who can I identify with the most? It’s not that I don’t find meaning in novels, it’s just that when images and words are presented to me at the same time, I find it hard to not wonder why an artist chose one image to display over another. Or why they used only a few colors instead of many vibrant ones. A comic I’m reading now called Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick is really vibrant, but another titled, Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh only sticks to blue and grayish hues.

Now that I’m older, I only read children’s book to reflect on the past. As I get a little older and have more life experiences, I look for books that deal with more mature themes: sexuality, racism, gender, erotica etc.

But overall, my mood will influence what I choose to read. How about you? Why do like to read? What’s your favorite genre? What’s your least favorite genre? 

Tell me because I’m curious (see what I did there?).


Featured Image – Curious George Cover Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Barnes and Noble, Blue is the Warmest Color Panel Courtesy of Arsenal Pulp Press

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I'm an avid comic reader and I want to share my analyses of them with the world. I love cats and brownies and I've been told on many occasions that I'm weird-but-in-a-good-way!

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