Simply Said: Joyce Carol Oates

2013 has been my most successful year of reading thus far. According to the metrics on Goodreads, I’ve read 59 books already this year. Before 2013, the most books I had read in a year was 43 books in 2009. And while, we’re on the topic of statistics, I’ve read 20,988 pages so far.

Reading really has been my way to slip into the skin of someone else. And with 59 books consumed thus far, I’ve clearly been on a quest to live vicariously through others. When times get tough, I find myself turning to the comfort and the escape of a good book. I think the search for escapism is completely intentional, but that feeling of truly slipping out of yourself and becoming a part of what you are reading is a helpless experience. The best writing lets us explore what it is to be someone else and to experience things from a different perspective.

The quote from Joyce Carol Oates is particularly fitting. Oates’ writing has always struck me as very soul-focused; you come away from her works (thinking especially of We Were the Mulvaneys) feeling as though you felt exactly what the protagonist was going through.

Do you use reading as an escape? What books have you read where you realized afterward just how far you had slipped away?

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