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Why Books Are My Safe Space

Why Books are My Safe Space

This might seem like an unusual post for Valentines Day as it features no dating advice, lists of romance novels or even a gift guide. However, this post is very much about love. The love I have for books as well as the love I have for my partner. Books mean a lot more to me than a few hours of entertainment. A book allows you to temporarily escape your real life, it has the power to calm, to help you mentally reset, to give you control and most importantly, to give you hope.

“If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn’t you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside….”  

– Neil Gaiman, The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction


Needing Escapism

My partner and I have been together nearly five years. He originally lived in the South of England but quickly moved to Yorkshire. Unfortunately, the rest of my life fell apart. For the first 18 months of our relationship I was being severely bullied. It was a situation I couldn’t escape from and I ended up with severe anxiety, leading into depression. For months I was close to having a panic attack every time my phone made a sound. With my pre-existing heart condition the constant anxiety really hit me hard physically.

I try not to think back to that time because it still makes me sad. I feel like the first few happy months that you expect with a new relationship were stolen from us. The flirting over text. The actual dating. However, I would never take back the gift that I was given and that was the return of my love for books.

Reading Together

I was so poorly in those early months that by the time I got home from work I was a zombie. My partner would make sure he was there when I got home to run me a bath, cook us dinner and then tuck me in bed. I wasn’t capable of doing anything else. My oxygen saturation levels were terrible. As a result, my ability to read and absorb information was poor. I couldn’t focus on a screen let alone on a book. That’s when my partner decided he would read to me.

The first book we read together was The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I closed my eyes, snuggled up next to him and let a whole new world build in my mind. There was no room for my problems only the story of Kvothe, the Waystone Inn and the silence of three parts. My safe space was born.

One day I will review The Name of the Wind, which is utterly exceptional in every way. The problem is that it is so desperately personal to me that I can never find the right words. I would never tag Patrick Rothfuss in a post but I wish I could express to him what his books gave me. A space where I was safe, where my mind and soul could heal whilst my body allowed itself to rest. I am eternally grateful. I will also never be able to thank my partner enough for taking care of me back then, when we were still getting to know each other and everything should have been much simpler.

Looking Back

Looking back now I can see that books have always been a safe space for me. I never realised at the time quite how important they were because I loved reading. My health problems have always meant that I am left out of a lot of activities. Be it with family, friends or otherwise. Books have let me be somewhere else when I can’t go out, to enjoy adventures I could never hope to be part of and have stopped me feeling alone. It doesn’t matter that that the stories are fictional because, simply, they make me feel free.

I think that the stories we read and love become a part of who we are. We hold those characters and adventures inside us. Perhaps, even when we don’t realise it those stories are there helping us along.

“…books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.”

– Neil Gaiman, The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction


Book Lover

I am a book lover and I am lucky enough to share that love with my partner. Books have been a safe space for him too. This has been a very personal and somewhat unexpected post. Next year I promise something a little lighter for Valentines Day. Whether you are single or otherwise, I hope you have a lovely evening doing something you love. Tonight, for the second time, we will be reading The Name of the Wind together again.


Happy Valentines Day

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36 Comments

  • 14th February 2019 at 7:51 pm

    That’s made me rather emotional, what a beautiful thing to share and a wonderful partner you have that can recognise a need for stories in you and make changes in their world to make it happen for you… that’s a keeper for sure xx

    REPLY
    • 16th February 2019 at 11:44 am
      Dellybird

      Thank you for reading and commenting. He is pretty wonderful (and is even cooking me breakfast right now). He has been through an awful lot in his life too so he recognised what I needed and I honestly don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t had that escapism and care.

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  • 14th February 2019 at 9:48 pm

    This is such a lovely post, and I’m so glad that books have been there for you during your hard times. 💕 I especially love that your partner would read to you, allowing you both to experience the story together! Also, someone I know actually wrote to Patrick Rothfuss and he wrote back, so if you want to be able to express your gratitude, that’s an option!

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    • 16th February 2019 at 11:49 am
      Dellybird

      Reading out loud is a lost art form. It is a wonderfully intimate activity that I highly recommend. I would love to write to Patrick Rothfuss, I am just not sure if I should? I know he has struggled with depression himself and I wouldn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. Maybe that is me overthinking it.

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      • 16th February 2019 at 6:23 pm

        I mean, I can’t speak for him, but if I were an author I would love to hear about my books helping someone through a difficult time 😊

  • 15th February 2019 at 12:43 pm

    You have a wonderful partner

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    • 16th February 2019 at 11:50 am
      Dellybird

      Thank you for reading. I am very lucky that we found each other.

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  • 15th February 2019 at 3:53 pm

    This is such a great post <3
    Books make an excellent safe space, the way you can escape into whole new worlds.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk

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    • 16th February 2019 at 11:51 am
      Dellybird

      Thanks. Let’s face it, most of us would rather be at Hogwarts. It is a fabulous break from reality.

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  • 15th February 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Such a lovely post! I definitely can relate to books being a safe space, they’ve always been that for me too, and also a way to escape from reality when it gets very overwhelming.

    REPLY
    • 16th February 2019 at 11:53 am
      Dellybird

      I am glad that you have that safe space too as it makes a huge difference when reality becomes too much. Thank you for reading and commenting x

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  • 15th February 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Books have always always been my safe space! I love this post 🙂

    REPLY
    • 16th February 2019 at 11:57 am
      Dellybird

      Thank you. I am glad you understand 🙂 As Stephen King once said “Book are a uniquely portable magic” and sometimes we all need a bit of magic in our lives to help slay the monsters.

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  • 16th February 2019 at 12:41 am
    lauraslife123

    Like you, I have a wonderful partner who looked after me too. I love reading but unfortunately U watch too much telly! I need to get back into reading so thanks for the recommendation. I will endeavour to read it at some point x

    REPLY
    • 16th February 2019 at 12:01 pm
      Dellybird

      TV can do a very similar thing when you need to escape and it is very addictive. Believe me, Netflix uses most of my internet data! If you ever want reading recommendations then throw out the #bookbloggers on Twitter and you will have plenty of personalised suggestions! TNotW is one of the best fantasy books of all time. We are lucky to have such caring partners 🙂

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  • 16th February 2019 at 7:32 pm
    bookloverkate

    It sounds like you have a wonderful and supportive partner. I’m glad you found a way to feel safe and to take a break from real life. Lovely post!

    REPLY
    • 16th February 2019 at 7:55 pm
      Dellybird

      Thank you 🙂 He’s going to get a big head if I ever let him read the comments :p What I didn’t say was that I do try to read to him but we never get past the first page as he falls asleep. Apparently I have a soothing voice. I hope that is the real reason!

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      • 17th February 2019 at 10:16 am
        bookloverkate

        Bless, it seems like you have a very cute relationship! 😍👌🏻

  • 17th February 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I understand exactly where you are coming from. Books are my escape from reality and oddly enough its one of the few spaces that things are quiet for me. Cheers to your partner!

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    • 17th February 2019 at 9:24 pm
      Dellybird

      Thank you for reading 🙂 I am so pleased that everyone seems to understand where I am coming from.

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  • 17th February 2019 at 5:03 pm

    What an absolutely lovely post, it sounds like you and your partner have such a special relationship. It’s adorable that he read to you whilst you were unable too, that is honestly the sweetest thing. I am so glad you are in a better place now and you still share your love of books. Thank you for sharing Delly, this was such a wonderfully heart-warming read <3 xxx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

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    • 17th February 2019 at 9:22 pm
      Dellybird

      Thank you for reading and for being so lovely x

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  • 18th February 2019 at 9:19 am

    This is such a lovely post! Books are my safe place too for so many reasons!

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    • 18th February 2019 at 11:56 am
      Dellybird

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Books <3 always

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  • 18th February 2019 at 11:44 pm

    this wa shonestly siuch a alovely post! it really resonated w me and im sogladthat u bothgot to bond over books

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    • 22nd February 2019 at 2:45 pm
      Dellybird

      Thank you. I’m really pleased that it has resonated with people as I was nervous about posting it. Books are fantastic to bond over whether it be with a partner, a friend or even strangers 🙂 It is why I love being part of the book blogger community

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  • 19th February 2019 at 8:37 am

    this is such a wonderful post! i relate to so much so thank you for this!! xx

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    • 22nd February 2019 at 2:49 pm
      Dellybird

      No, thank you for reading and commenting! I was really nervous about sharing this but I am so pleased that people can relate to it. I would love to read other people’s stories one day but they are not not always the easiest posts to write.

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  • 19th February 2019 at 5:01 pm

    I’m sorry you had to go through that, but glad you had someone to read to you 🙂 Your partner sounds amazing. Such a wonderful post, thanks for sharing!

    REPLY
    • 22nd February 2019 at 2:57 pm
      Dellybird

      That is very kind of you, thank you for reading. It was a very difficult time and I lost a lot of myself for a while. Thanks to my partner the books brought me back and now I have even more people to share all those stories with 🙂

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  • 19th February 2019 at 10:32 pm

    This is an absolutely wonderful post! Books are also my safe space. It’s so lovely that your partner would read to you as reading is such a nice thing to be able to share.

    REPLY
    • 22nd February 2019 at 3:01 pm
      Dellybird

      Thank you so much. I am glad that you have books to escape to too. Reading out loud is something that we are discouraged to do as soon as we learn to read properly but it really is a lost art form. It is a lovely thing to share and I really think that people should try it.

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  • 21st February 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Books really are the best 😊

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  • 23rd February 2019 at 9:37 pm

    I love this post so much! Books have become such an important part of my life, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. They definitely let me escape the real world, which has become vital for me. Thank you for sharing this post.

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    • 24th February 2019 at 8:48 pm
      Dellybird

      Thank you so much <3 I am glad you understand where I am coming from. Books are so important and I am really pleased that you have an escape too.

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  • 28th February 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Fabulous post. I totally get lost in my books and for a short amount of time I am somewhere else. And that is necessary sometimes

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