Thursday, 5 August 2010

Why Do I Read? Let Me Count The Ways ...

I cannot tell you how many times I've been asked why I like reading so much. Usually the question is asked by a NR (Non-Reader) who is confused and astounded by how many books I read. They just don't understand why I can spend so much time with my head in a book when there are so many other things to do with my precious time. I do have other hobbies, a young family and other interests ... reading just happens to be one of them.

I think reading could be a hobby for everyone. I honestly think that if I can get them to read the right book I can get them to love reading as much as I do. They just haven't found the right book to get them excited about reading too!

I have always been a reader but it really wasn't until a few years ago when one of my brothers-in-law told me about a book that his Grade 7 students were raving about. The book happened to be the first Harry Potter book. At first I thought "Why would I, a mother of two kids, want to read a kids' book about wizards?". Looking back, I'm so glad I gave the book a chance! That book kickstarted my reading ... big time! From that point on I couldn't stop reading and literally have to have a book on the go at all times.

Here are some of the reasons I always have a book on the go.

  1. Books can change the reader's mood. If I'm feeling down and I pick up a book like one of Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie Plum" series and read about Lula and Grandma Mazur I know I'll be giggling really soon and it'll pick me up.
  2. Books are amazing if you want to escape your life for a bit and delve into another person's life story, another time or place. Whether that's jumping into Queen Elizabeth I's shoes or reading a juicy "Dynasty"-like Sidney Sheldon ... it's all good!
  3. Good books are also a great way to remember places you've been too. I'm reading a book now ("The Birth of Venus") which takes place in Florence, Italy. From the vivid descriptions I can clearly remember the Piazza della Signoria, Michelangelo's "David" and Il Duomo. Ahhh, Italy!
  4. Favourite books are almost like old friends. Sounds dorkier than I mean it. I love to re-read certain books ... it kind of feels homey and comforting to go back and read something that you know you'll love ... again and again.
  5. I need to read. Sounds silly and trivial to some but I do. I have gone a day or two without reading but it feels weird. Reading has become part of what I do in a day. I might only get 20 minutes on a certain day but I feel more relaxed when I've had that 'me' time. If I could only read in the car imagine how many more books I would have read!!
  6. Collecting books. I love the library and am an avid (or is that rabid?) fan. But I also love to see books on my bookshelves. I love to see them lined up (or stacked up due to lack of bookshelves). One of my 'wants' over the next few years is to have a library/den in our basement. With a comfy reading chair, a table for my coffee ..... bliss!
  7. Books have the ability to change a person's perspective of the world and their opinions on certain issues. For example, reading a well-written book about slavery (ie. "Roots" by Alex Haley or "Book of Negroes" by Canadian author, Lawrence Hill) can show the reader what it felt like to live in that time. To be treated that way by another human being. A great book can convey the emotion of the characters so that the reader feels them too.
  8. You can learn something! Shocking but true! Whether it's learning new vocabulary, learning about a certain event in history or learning how to get your kids to put their dirty laundry IN the hamper ... so many things you can learn from a book!
  9. Reading is a very solitary hobby and yet I still feel a connection to other readers when start talking about books. I love to talk about books whether it's in person, on a reading forum or here on my blog (which is why I LOVE getting comments and discussions going! Pssst! This is where you, the blog reader, are supposed to say "Oh ya. I should post more comments on here!").
  10. I literally get giddy when I read a book that I adore. I want to share it with anyone and everyone (which is why I set up this blog a year ago).
  11. Reading fiction helps you to dust off your old imagination. A wonderful author like J.K Rowling (of Harry Potter fame) or Diana Gabaldon (she of the "Outlander" fame) have the ability to, by their words alone, help the reader picture in his or her mind a different era or a different way to see the world we live in.
So why do you read? When did you start to really love to read?


Anonymous said...

I read for one simple reason: escape.

Like lots of other people, my childhood was less than perfect and, starting at the age of six when I picked up Little House in the Big Woods, books became my refuge and my salvation.

They still are.

Laurie said...

Escape is a great reason and I do it too. When my kids were really young and in need of my attention all the time I loved to sit down during their nap time and take time out for me. Escaping into a book was so easy ... and necessary for me.
I think I have only read the first "Little House" book ... I should add that to my list of books I want to read to "Missy Moo". Thanks for reminding me.

Farmer Giesen said...

Ahhhh Laaurie...there's a reason why we are kindred spirits. Books brought us together and will be the link we will share...well that and FOOD!!!

Love ya!!!

Laurie said...

Oh Farmer Giesen,
Don't forget to add wine and Starbucks to the evergrowing list of things that make us kindred spirits. :)

Ms. C said...

Hi Laurie,

I just found your blog and had to comment. This is an interesting post, i love how reading can fulfill so many different needs haha. I'm so glad I found this blog - I'm your newest follower. I'm a Canadian too and love baking and reading. My blog on cookie recipes and book reviews reminded me of yours - feel free to check it out in your spare time!

Ms. C

Laurie said...

Hi Ms C,
Glad you found my blog! I'll definitely check out your blog as well. :)

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