Why do you read?
Don’t you just love the library in the picture above? To be honest, it reminds me of the library at Hogwarts (of course).
Who wouldn’t want to be curled up in that room on a gloomy, rainy day – or even a sunny one?
These days most people have more digital, or e-books, than they do physical books. When I moved in May of 2018, I worried I would run out of boxes for my books. I still have a bookcase with physical books, but I have many, many more e-books within my Kindle app on my iPad.
So, what is it about all those books we have? Simply put, why do we read?
The answer to that question often depends on the context. When I was in school, and especially college, my reading time was spent pouring over textbooks and academic material. In that case, the objective was to gain knowledge, and hopefully wisdom. It might be debatable if I reached that objective – but it was the primary reason I read. There wasn’t much time left for “fun” reading.
When we want to keep apprised of current events, we may read a newspaper or magazine, albeit now days, it may be digital, but the objective is to be informed.
We may read articles online, such as blogs, or tutorials, which may be a combination of reading for entertainment, education, or developing a skill. I’ve done a lot of reading just building this website.
If you ask me the primary reason I read today, I would quickly answer – for entertainment.
When I graduated from college, I told myself I never wanted to read another textbook again. Although I rarely read strictly academic material now, I still find myself reading to learn. I suppose that never ends – nor should it.
Because even in my pursuit to read for fun, I find myself learning, growing, and developing. As I read for entertainment, I remain cognizant of tips and ideas to assist in my own development as an author. Sometimes, I come across something that I realize troubles me as a reader, and I become more aware when that’s duplicated in my own writing, which helps me correct it. Other times I read something that causes me to say, “I love what they did there! I need to try that.”
But maybe the best part about reading fiction is the best novels take me on an adventure as I become invested in the characters and their struggles.
The great novel is one we hate to put it down and can’t wait to pick back up, keeping us on the edge of our seats, dying to know “what happens next?”
Reading lets me experience things I otherwise would never have the opportunity to experience. I go on journeys to far away places, different time periods, sometimes even traveling through time. I get to know interesting people, some good, some bad, most a combination of both. How else would I have gotten to ride on a dragon as Daeneyrs Targaryn does, or defeat the evil wizard Voldemort as Harry Potter does? I’ve run from dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and gone to 14th century France in Timeline. I’ve fallen in love right along with Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Elliot thanks to Jane Austen. I’ve laughed at Stephanie Plum’s escapades and been terrorized by a rabid St. Bernard.
And the best thing is . . . there are many more adventures just waiting for me.
So why do you read? Let me know in the comments below.