Books have been described as our most inexhaustible form of magic by the woman who made us all watch the sky for owls carrying letters, portable magic by a guy known to terrify us with horror stories and the greatest weapon in the world by a time traveling doctor. I would never disagree with these three societal giants, however it can also be stated that we don’t always need a grandiose reason to celebrate books.

Do they provide the ability to travel to unseen and unknown worlds? without question. But they also open our eyes to better understand the world around us as well. True, I can learn what it’s like for a wizard to fight a Balrog, but I can also find out how someone else sees the same sunrise I look at every day.

Books expand our vocabulary. In fact, studies show that reading for just 20 minutes a day exposes us to 1.8 million words per year. For me, all of those words change my perspective. That sunrise that I see every morning while I drive to work isn’t just a sunrise. It’s an explosion of pastels as the sun wakes up to paint a new day. My nephew isn’t just laughing at my dog chasing his tail. His laughter is exploding from him like a tidal wave of joy.

The more I read, the more I find I’m more likely to pay attention to details around me. The best books build a world with words that you instantly familiarize with. When an author eloquently highlights the idiosyncrasies that form the frame of a story, I begin to notice those same aspects in my own life. Pubs become places where I wonder about the stories, heartbreaks, and moments that happened on the very stool I sit upon. My parents house isn’t just where they live. It’s a treasure chest of nostalgia.

Books will show you impossible worlds, yes, but they’ll also show what is possible in our world. They can show you that the mundane can be magical. The simple: spectacular. Reading has helped teach me new words, cultures and experiences. It’s also taught me to see my own life and experiences in a different, more illuminated way.

Spend a few hours in a book and you’ll find that not only are you escaping to a new world, but you’ll also begin to appreciate and see your own life in a brand new light.