Someone asked me last week, after seeing me on a bench with yet another book: “Do you actually like to read?”
I’m not sure why else he thought I’d be doing it, although for him, sitting down and opening a 200 page book doesn’t happen outside of one of the circles of hell.
Empathy can be useful, but I couldn’t even begin to empathize with this madman. But I did try to answer his question, although I certainly didn’t convert him.
I read because:
- I enjoy it
- I learn from it
- It teaches me things about myself
- I am curious
- It is the only way to do all the things I want to do, but may never have the time or money for (thanks Tom Clancy for the paraphrased quote)
- I don’t feel like me if I don’t do it
- It is an addiction that actually improves me
- It helps me write better
- It is a way for me to thank the writers who have enriched my life
- It gives me something consistent in my life–the words never change, although my interpretations do
- I value intelligence
- there’s more, of course…
Books are not a substitute for experience, but can be complementary to it.
I read because I can’t stop. I read because my parents started taking me to the library when I was about two days old.
I read because it’s what I love to do. Nothing else makes me feel the way a great book does.
“That’s really weird,” he said.
How about you? Why do you do it?