I had not given much thought about the books I have read and how they have affected my life. It was not until a fellow blogger’s post about revisiting her favorite books and looking at the impact they have had on her life. After reading her post, I started thinking about how the themes of these books spilled over into my own life at the same time, but now I see how they did.
It was not until just now that I realized each book I have read, whether it be a series about vampires (vampyres?) or a single book about a mother and daughter, all have something in common. For the most part, they have the common theme of good versus evil. But there are always all of these underlying themes, about prejudices, grief, and forgiveness. It is hard to see how things as different as witches and wizards and a family dealing with a serious illness could have anything in common, but I promise they do.
It is almost impossible to imagine the world without knowing the name of Harry Potter and what he did. As the lead character in one of the largest book and film franchises worldwide, almost everyone could tell you something about the series (my twin could tell you nothing). Even if what they tell you is about the theme park that I will one day go to. However, it is probably safe to say that they have not read much into the themes of the Harry Potter series.
The characters in Harry Potter are put it situations that mirror those of the muggle world. The difference? Magic, mystical creatures, and the ability to have a (two-sided) conversation with a snake. The lessons, of course, are not ones that a person generally realizes when reading or watching the series.
For those of you that do not know, Hermione Granger is a muggle born. Because of this a lot of the pure blood (wizards and witches of only magical descent) thought less of her. Actually, those that look down on muggle born wizards also look down on actual muggles. A main plot throughout the series is centered on destroying the muggles and muggle born wizards. If you think about it, the prejudices held against muggles and muggle borns is the same type of prejudices we encounter every day. Harry Potter teaches us how to deal with these prejudices, and how to grow from our experiences with them.
On a more personal level, the Harry Potter series, as well as books like Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult, has taught me how important friendships are. I have learned that I do not need a large amount of friends to be happy. Some of the best friends a person will have are the select few that they choose to share everything with. These are the people who will follow us across the country as we try to figure out who we really are. They are the people that, when going on a suicide mission, will go with you because it is the right thing to do.
In my opinion, every book we read has a lesson that we can take away from it. The lesson itself may be a simple one that we hear all the time. Things like do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and take nothing for granted. They are still lessons that can be taken and applied to our lives on a daily basis.
The books I read have taught me how to deal with some of life’s hardest challenges. They have provided me with words of advice to help get me through almost anything that life can throw at me. The lessons I have learned may not always be of use to me right now, but somewhere down the road I will understand how a mother’s love can be more powerful than death itself.
For me, the books I choose to read always go back to having that same common thread. The lessons they have taught me might not correlate directly to each other, but they still have a moral, a life lesson that I can take away from them. It may not be something that you can easily pick up on, but I can guarantee there is a lesson to be learned from every book any of us read. I encourage you to take a look back at the books you have read and how the lessons from those books have made their way into your life.
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