‘Reading is a huge part of my life,’ Jamie Reynolds shared over an infamously expensive schooner James Squire Cider at the Unibar. She spoke with a sincere passion and confidence of the joy that being immersed in stories gave her; making it no surprise as to what she was studying. ‘Reading is recreational in the sense that is it not relevant to my life at all; it is complete escapism. If I write, it has to be about real things, which is why I want to be a journalist.’ Where does Jamie find this refuge in fiction? None other than the mother of all escapist literature, fantasy.
‘Harry Potter equals life!’ She laughed as she rattled off the names of her favourites of the genre: ‘John Green, Jeffery Archer, George R. Martin, those kind of things…things that are so unbelievable that they seem real.’ After her six-day week where she studies and works part-time at Nowra’s reject shop, there is nothing more comforting then settling down at home with either of these companions.
‘There’s always going to be a bit of hope in me that maybe my letter did get lost, maybe I really am apart of the wizarding world.’
With such hope and desire to step into another realm, Jamie’s life outside of uni is in fact that of countless others.’[Reading] calms me a lot.’ She explained. If I am not reading then, you know, I’m watching movies.’
When asked what her favourite all-time film was, she sat quietly thinking, as the chatter of intoxicated uni-students bubbled over the interview. Even then, one could almost hear her brain flicking over the extensive archive of movies she had ever watched. Finally she answered,
‘The Fox and the Hound. I feel like its got such a huge relevance to racism and to sexism…they’re two little animals and they are so different but they don’t know any different…they’re friends and they don’t know that society says that can’t be… they don’t see themselves differently they just see their friendship… It has a really important message.’ The Schooner was long forgotten as Jamie demonstrated first-hand the impact that stories have on her. But when it comes to the crunch books will always be her “first love”
‘There’s just something more genuine about reading…watching doesn’t really do anything, it melts your brain but when you read something it strengthens it and it sticks.’
There are so many reasons why Jamie is such an avid reader and film-goer, but none stuck out more than the simple fact that it is her choice.
‘There’s no one in the book or movie telling me that I cant be apart of it…it’s just myself. I can stop reading whenever I want to and then I can start again.’ It is that rare sense of empowerment that can only be found in places other than reality. And there, in those sanctums of fantasy and wonder, is where one can find Jamie.