My Gratitude For Music, Books, and All Forms of Art

I love music. I love books. I love all forms of art — and I’d like to express my deep gratitude for it all.

I’d like to consider myself a minimalist. But when it comes to certain things, like vinyl records and books for example, I’m a bit of a hoarder.

You hear people gush about traveling — seeing the world, exploring new places, and experiencing all kinds of different things. And I think that’s valid. But for me, music and books are a special and magical form of traveling — one in which you can transport to an entirely new dimension while laying in bed, driving, or cleaning the kitchen.

You’re traveling with your mind when it comes to music, books, TV shows, films, video games, paintings, sculptures, decorations, and more. It’s the type of travel that’s limitless, that you cannot capture with a camera, that is entirely personal to your soul.

Vinyl records

After getting replaced by cassette tapes, and then CDs, and then digital streaming, vinyl records made a comeback in the early 2010s. I bought my first record player in 2014, along with Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die.”

I fell in love with the aesthetic of vinyl records. Album artwork is so beautiful, and vinyl records allow us to see them on a large-scale size that they were meant to be seen on. I love picking up a vinyl record and holding it front of me, admiring it and all of its beauty.

I love taking the record out of its sleeve and then placing it on the record player as I gently let down the stylus. I love watching it spin as the music comes out. I love flipping the record over from Side A to Side B. I love the circular motion of records, as it symbolizes the timelessness of music, and how it never ends, it simply starts over again.

Cassette tapes

Cassette tapes were my first love. I was born in the early nineties, while cassette tapes were thriving. I have so many precious childhood memories of digging through a box of tapes, playing tapes in the car, and walking around the house with my tape player in hand.

I loved blank tapes. I had a kid’s recorder with an attached microphone that allowed me to record anything I wanted to. Sometimes I’d sing, or act out plays, or pretend to be a radio show host. I recorded alone and I also recorded with friends and family.

Photo by Árpád Czapp on Unsplash

The late 2010s and early 2020s have now brought a revival of cassette tapes, after I swore that society was done with them for good. At first, I couldn’t understand the appeal, but now I can’t get enough of them!

I have a soft spot for cassette tapes and I think that’s because I grew up with them. I’ve also realized how durable and practical they are — unsusceptible to scratches and cracks. The only downside is that the album artwork is so small.

While cassette tapes are coming back, they’re still rare to find. When you see one on sale, you know they won’t be available for long. And that’s another addition to the appeal — they’re rare. When I see one, I buy one, because it won’t be there forever.

Books

Books, books, books. I can’t get enough of books. And unfortunately, I buy them ten times faster than I read them. Don’t get me wrong — I read a lot — but the pace of my reading cannot keep up with the rate that I buy them.

I’m totally not anti-ebook. I love ebooks too! They make reading easier and more convenient, they’re cheaper, and they’re better for the environment. But I think most avid readers will agree — there’s nothing like the feeling of a book in your hand.

I love the smell of books. I love the beautiful artwork of each book cover. I love the sensation of turning the page.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

I’ve always gravitated more towards nonfiction. I like to flip back and forth between chapters, skim certain sections while hyper-fixating on other parts, absorbing graphs, charts, drawings, and photographs that accompany the text.

Having said that, fiction is just as magical. I’m trying to read more fiction. But my unpopular opinion is that nonfiction can be just as magical and ethereal as fiction — even more so sometimes.

Barnes & Noble has a special collection of leather bound books with exclusive covers. I plan on collecting nearly all of them.

Tarot cards

Besides your typical art and media — music, books, and film, etc. — another piece of art that falls in my “top three” is tarot cards. I have a massive collection of tarot cards that continues to grow more and more.

My witchy friends can all agree — tarot cards are beautiful. But you don’t have to be a witch to appreciate them.

Tarot cards are so pretty! I love seeing what an artist decides to do with the Arcanas. One artist sees “The Magician” as a cat, another sees it as a naked woman, another sees it as a little fairy.

Photo by T A T I A N A on Unsplash

All of these things are art. And I love them all. It makes me happy to be alive. It’s what keeps me going when it feels like life may be meaningless, purposeless, and flat. It sends me to another world.

Sometimes I feel guilty about buying too many records, too many books, or too many tarot cards. Sometimes I feel guilty about having songs stuck in my head all day, or spending an afternoon binging TV, or getting really excited about a new tarot deck.

But I shouldn’t feel guilty about the things that make me happy. I do strive to know my limitations — keep a spending limit, halt myself from buying more until I’ve fully used and appreciated what I already own. I think that the appreciation for art only becomes dangerous when you find more thrill out of buying a new book rather than sitting down to actually read it, for example.

This is your reminder to fully immerse yourself in art. Let yourself travel to a new dimension to become an entirely new person for a few minutes, or an hour, or an entire afternoon. Pick and choose your preferred art depending on the type of person you want it to shape you into. Don’t do household chores without playing an album, or a podcast, or a TV show. Don’t go for a drive without singing along to your favorite playlist. Don’t miss a day without stopping to look at decorations, or displays, or architecture without enjoying it. Allow yourself to feel grateful for art.

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