Reading is my favorite way to pass the time.  Since I joined Goodreads in 2010 and started keeping track of how many books I read, I have read on average 75 books a year.  As I thought about today’s prompt, journey, I remembered the quote by George R. R. Martin, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.”  In each book I have finished, I have journeyed alongside many great characters.

I raised my hand with Katniss as she volunteered to save her sister’s life.  I sat next to her on the train as she rode into the Capital to compete in the Hunger Games. And I cried when she had to say goodbye to Rue.

I got to meet vampires, werewolves, witches, and fairies alongside Sookie Stackhouse as she  learned her family secrets, fell in love, got her heart broken, lost friends, and tried to stay alive.

I figured out the puzzles and riddles along with Wade Watts as he hacked his way through the OASIS to win the ultimate prize of $240 billion.

I grew up with the kids in Derry, Maine haunted by Pennywise the Clown and went with them as they faced their fears.

I travelled through time in the Tardis with the Doctor solving the mysteries of the universe.

I figured out the weird cases with Agent Pendergast.

I fought zombies alongside Rick and the gang and just hoped to survive.

My heart broke when Odd lost Stormy and went along with him as he tried to figure out what the evil cult was up to and how to stop them.

I was there with Stephanie when she became a bounty hunter. I laughed every time her car caught on fire or when her and Lula got in trouble.  I love visiting Grandma Mazur and having dinner with Stephanie’s family.  I wanted to yell at her to pick a damn guy already.  Love triangles really aren’t all that.

I went with Harry as he boarded the Hogwarts Express for the first time.  I was amazed by the wizarding world and the magic it contained.  I was there when he found the Sorcerer’s Stone and when he entered the Chamber of Secrets.  I met the Prisoner of Azkaban and wished someone had thought to put Peter Pettigrew in a pet carrier as they took him up to Hogwarts.  I wanted to help as Harry competed in the Triwizard Tournament.  I felt the betrayal of his friends and wished I could join the Order of the Phoenix.  I cried when Dumbledore fell and ran with Harry as he chased after Snape.  I felt his frustration as he searched for the horcruxes.  I was there in the end when he had to make the decision to live or die.  And I am here waiting for the cursed child to take me on another journey back into the wizarding world.

So many lives lived, I can’t tell you about them all.  I have learned about love, life, heartbreak, survival, and death.  I have been forced to think about the future and have learned from the past.  As my favorite author Stephen King said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”  I can’t live without that magic in my life and am thankful for the many journeys that I have taken every time I open a book.