This is hard…because I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t reading or at the very least being read to. I remember games we played, TV shows we watched, but mostly I remember a book in my hands and what the local libraries looked like. I can still point out to you where the Sherlock Holmes books were in the Main Branch in one city and I can remember the very first manga volume I ever held. My favorite house we lived in had glass fronted bookshelves on either side of the fireplace and I swear I’m going to have something like that in my eventual house. Both my parents read constantly, a blessing I realized even while young, and while the first PG movie I saw wasn’t until I was thirteen, they never tried to stop me from reading a book. That occasionally lead to some…interesting experience but I appreciate it more than I can say.
So asking me why I read is like asking me why I breathe. I simply do, I can’t stop. Even if I’m not actively reading (video games and TV shows/movies must have their due) books are always close to me and the main reason I will never give up my iPhone has nothing to do with talking or texting but the fact that I have eBooks and audiobooks loaded on it. I don’t even have to buy a purse that fits a book (my one and only requirement) anymore but can carry dozens in my pocket. It was instant love.
I read to escape, and I read to learn. I read to travel and I read to sequester myself away from others. I read to laugh, I read to cry. I read to remember and I read to forget. I read to see beyond my own perceptions and read to find them. If I didn’t have a book, I’d read a magazine; if not a magazine, I’d read the back of a DVD case over and over. I’m going to read something.
I read because my brain simply doesn’t know how not to read and my hands feel better holding a book.
What are your reasons for reading and/or what do books mean to you?