Taking Your Reader on a Journey

Everyone’s heard it before, right? 
“Reading can take you anywhere.” 
It sounds nice in theory, but does the cliched expression really hold any truth? 
Mountain climbing in Asia

For the first thirteen and a half years of my life I didn’t travel much. Other then a trip to Florida when I was two and a trip to Canada when I was ten, I don’t remember leaving my home state much at all. But I read. I read a lot. Between my mom and oldest sister, the love of reading had been instilled in me since I was just a little mite.

From the pages of hundreds of books I explored distant lands, Scottish farms, mountain climbing, the Great Lakes, out West, the heart of a foster child, the Swiss Alps, old castles, battles and wars, big cities, missionary life, jungles, oceans, being the new kid, Africa, Asia, Antarctica, Europe, South America, Australia and North America.

Standing in castle ruins in Germany
In the last several years I’ve been blessed to be able to travel a lot. I’ve explored distant lands, I’ve felt my chest grow tight as I climb up mountains, I got to sit under the shadows of the the Swiss Alps and walked through old castles. I’ve been completely overwhelmed by big cities, experienced missionary life, I’ve seen wild parrots fly over me near jungles. I’ve walked through the Beje and touched places that history was written. I’ve flown for hours over oceans, I’ve been the new kid, I’ve gone to Asia, Europe, South America, and North America.  
Corrie ten Boom’s house in Holland
And do you know what? It’s true. Books do take me places. 
When I saw the Swiss Alps for the first time, I could imagine the scenes from Treasures of the Snow. When I stood in Corrie ten Boom’s house, I could picture the heart-stopping moments in The Hiding Place. When driving across Holland, I imagined the stories Brother Andrew told in God’s Smuggler

Reading helps us see the world though another person’s eyes. No one else looks out and sees quite the same intricacies and beauty in a dandelion as I do. The loving way Julie Nye describes the Great Lakes in Scout created a desire in me to go and visit them. I can read and re-read Catherine Farnes book, Over the Divide, and every time I do, I’m filled with the dream of one day hiking over the divide, too.
I want to see the world though other people’s eyes, so I can learn to open my eyes and see more. I want to notice the details that James Herriot saw. I want to have the same love Betsie ten Boom gave to everyone. I want to have the heart for children Patricia St. John displayed. I want to share my world with others like the thousands of authors that have poured their hearts into good, edifying, wonderful books. 
And I want others to see the world though my eyes, too. 
The Swiss Alps

What about you? Do you think that reading a book can take you on a journey? 

4 thoughts on “Taking Your Reader on a Journey

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