I went on a run the other day and stumbled (not literally, thankfully) upon a book. I couldn’t tell you why, but I decided I should at least pick it up and see what it was all about when I finished my run. So, I did just that. I picked up the book and continued the last quarter mile of my run.
Lately, I’ve found myself wanting to find a good book to read and even tried starting a couple, only to get bored with them or not really be able to get into them. I feel like it shouldn’t be that hard to find a book that pulls you in and keeps you vested. As it turns out, I’ve been forcing myself to find a book when I should have been letting myself happen upon one.
I finished the run and began to scan the cover and back of the book I found. It was titled, “The Very Nearly Honorable League Of Pirates: Terror of the Southlands” and I will admit it was bummed to find out it was the second book in the series. I had never heard of the series or the author but I decided I was going to read the book either way. It seemed to me like I needed to read it or I somehow owed it to myself to read it.
There was a part of me that hoped I had stumbled upon an unknown, instant classic — one I would want to read again and again. This wasn’t the case. I don’t want it to seem like I didn’t enjoy the journey the book took me on; I really did. More than anything, I had committed myself to finish the book and that is what I was going to do.
I began the book and very quickly realized I was not the intended audience. Not that it was a bad thing, but it was obviously written for young adults — I would assume maybe elementary to middle-schoolers. Initially, I was a little put off by it but I soon realized I actually enjoyed the childlike, simplicity of it.
I was relieved to find the book was easier than most to read. As I dove into the story, I found myself making my way through it very quickly. I was shocked to find myself almost halfway done with it by the end of the second day and wanting to know where the story was headed next.
I won’t try and tell you the book was a “think piece” that left you pondering life, but I did appreciate the life lessons learned by the protagonist. The author intentionally provided readers with a female pirate as the lead role. She provided a female lead that was courageous, intelligent, strong-willed, and not content with the status quo. The author was able to show that women, or young girls, could be more than dainty and fragile. She showed women could be strong leaders. She showed they could make tough decisions while being fair and kind at the same time.
The book was a fun read, with twists and turns, and it was the first time in a long time that I had actually finished a book. It made me start questioning why it had taken me so long to find a book I could actually finish. Was it because I had been looking for the “perfect” book? Was it because I was trying to read too dense of books? What if I didn’t try so hard to read these “good books” and I just let myself stumble into a fun book?
I saw the whole thing as a good learning experience. There are always going to be good, dense, thought-provoking books and there are going to be times you want to read those books. Then, there are going to be times you just want to use a book to escape for a few hours at a time — times you don’t want to have to think too much and just enjoy where the story takes you.
We are given random opportunities on a daily basis. Everywhere we go and everything we do provides limitless possible outcomes. For me, that day, it was the decision to pick up the book or not to. I’m glad I decided to pick it up. I’m glad I challenged myself to do something arbitrary and fun.
If I learned anything from Hilary Westfield, Terror of the Southlands, it is to be bold and daring and always ready for an adventure. I think I’ll be keeping my eye out for other chance opportunities and I challenge you to do the same. You never know when you might accidentally stumble into an adventure.
A version of this post was previously published on GoFindYourHappy and is republished here with permission from author.
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