Why Do We Love to Read?
I know, I know – for some of you, the question is pointless. We read because it’s necessary, like eating and breathing.
However, I’m sure you have some friends who don’t read at all, or at least not frivolous things like novels. Some of my friends tell me that they only have time to read practical books – to advance their careers or make them better parents. And we sort of look at each other funny. (P.S. I admire their devotion to duty.)
But for those of us who really, really love to read – why is that?
Let’s come out and admit that escape has something to do with it. Even if you have a great life, sometimes it’s nice to inhabit another one. And if you’re going through a bad time, well, let’s just say I went through a spell where I was reading three mystery novels on my day off.
And then there’s the vicarious experience aspect. A book takes away our time and space limitations. We can visit the past or the future, travel to an exotic locale, or imagine what it is to be an athlete or a soldier or a monk.
I’ve also heard it suggested that reading is a form of meditation. We can certainly find inspiration in reading. And let me say that I have learned a lot of what I know about history, culture, and criminal investigation by reading fiction.
But I think the most important reason I read is for meaning. I believe that when an author writes a book, he or she does it because they want to say that there is something meaningful about how people live in the world. And we can learn from that. In a world that often seems random, it’s wonderful to have recourse to the world of books.
How do you feel about this? Maybe you love to read for an entirely different reason. I’d love to hear from you!
The Book Goddess