Why do we read?

No but seriously … why read?

This question, although very basic, is one that many people are often faced with in today’s society, particularly for those of us who grew up and live in small country towns, and–what’s more–it’s a valid question.  With so many forms of entertainment available: TV, radio, the plethora of social media applications and more, why spend the extra time it takes to read?

Well.  I guess that takes some answering, doesn’t it?  After all, I enjoy watching a movie as much as the next guy, and, don’t worry, you’re not the only one looking forward to the next season of Game of Thrones–as an aside, the books are better.  If you haven’t read any–I recommend giving them a shot, particularly if you enjoy the show.  You can find the first book here.

One of the most common things people who rarely read will say is that reading takes too much time or that they don’t have the time to read.  I respect that, and I understand it.  All I’ll say is, if it’s something you love, you don’t count the minutes it takes to do it because each minute isn’t a chore, it’s a pleasure.  I could go in to more here, I suppose, I could quote Confucius, if you’d like. “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”  There.  Now, don’t we both feel smart?  There’s some good stuff in the Analects, if you haven’t had the opportunity to read them, here it is.

I could argue with you that reading is experience without the bitterness, as we live vicariously through the lives of someone else, see through the eyes of someone else and, if we do as Confucius said, reflect upon it, we grow in wisdom.  I could argue that and–truth to tell–I happen to think it’s true.  But to argue that would be disingenuous.

The fact is, I enjoy reading.  Sure, it takes longer than other entertainment forms, but I also believe I get back a larger return on investment, that I get to experience a world and characters at a deeper level than a movie or a TV show allows.  But at the end of the day, I read because I enjoy it, and I primarily read fantasy because I’m a grown man who likes magic.  And anyway … that’s probably the least weird thing about me.

How about you, dear reader?  What keeps you opening the pages or charging the E-reader?  Please share your thoughts and comments in the space below–I’d love to hear from you!  Or, if you’d rather, drop me a line in the contact section with your info, and I’ll add you to the email list so that you’ll receive updates on blog posts and book reviews, as well as the status of the books I’m working on!  Thanks!

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1 comment on “Why do we read?”

  1. lindsay holbrook

    “The fact is, I enjoy reading. Sure, it takes longer than other entertainment forms, but I also believe I get back a larger return on investment, that I get to experience a world and characters at a deeper level than a movie or a TV show allows. ”

    THIS. It is a complete immersion, an experience where I am fully engaged and transported. I love movies and TV but nothing captures my attention the same way reading does.

    Lovin’ the blog, keep it up!!!

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