Reading is an escape

Did you know that you save me? You do. In strange ways, I suspect we all save each other. But this week was a recovery week for me after a particularly brutal bout with depression and so I spent the week reflecting and reading

It’s odd. Reading is an escape. It’s medicine. It hurts and heals. And there’s something about spending the day wrapped up in books that can feel like the perfect antidote while also feeling impossibly decadent. But I’m not good at decadent. Especially when there is laundry to be done and emails to be answered and deadlines and expectations from friends

In the last few weeks, I gave myself permission to read the days away, and whenever I felt guilty I reminded myself that this was work, in a way. I was reading to find the perfect book for my upcoming Book Club. The book club that will sustain our book store and promote reading culture

When I was a kid I didn’t have time to read because books were expensive, could not afford and so was everything else, so I would go find someplace outside with a little shade to read for hours with friend’s books. I still remember where I was when I first read certain books

My grandmother told me she was the same when she was young. When the farm work was over she’d get a book. In fact, my grandmother’s story will inspire many of the Fantastic book club

My mom was also a big reader but she used to read mainly biographies. My grandmother, though, was like me. She read dark and strange and magical stories and she would pretend not to notice when I would steal her copies of Stephen King or VC Andrews or Ray Bradbury, Agatha Christie

She has a new Stephen King book that she reads the first paragraph of and then forgets. And reads again. And again. Even in the darkness she still looks for an escape. And every book I have ever selected is one I know she’d read and love if she could. I read them for her. I read them for myself

All this week I escaped the house like I did when I was a kid. I carry a book and a large bottle of water to keep the heat from being too overpowering and I read

I read about time travel and witches and magic and heroes and rebellion and loss and joy and struggle and intrigue. The book club that I want to start is just more than just me and you, it’s my late mother (who I speak to in my mind) and so many other people I see and remember as I read these stories that bring me back to my own memories. And I don’t think I would so easily dedicate this healing time to reading if I didn’t have a reason

Thank you for being that reason

I think you’ll really like it. So stick around if you want to talk books and if you’re ready to join the Fantastic Book Club. Email me on


Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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