I recently read a blog post entitled “A Girl You Should Date” explaining why men should date women who read. Yesterday, while eating my lunch, a friend noticed the book I was reading (The Color Purple) and we began discussing the pleasures of reading.
So, today I’ve decided to share with you 6 reasons why I love to read:
- Adventures into New Worlds
- New Friends
- Escape From Real Life
- There’s Always Something to do to Pass the Time!
1. Adventures into New Worlds
If I read Jane Eyre, I’m in 1847 England, if I read The Secret Life of Bees, I’m in 1964 South Carolina, in the midst of social and racial upheaval, if I read The Great Gatsby, I’m in 1920 Long Island experiencing social and moral decay amidst glamorous living, and if I read The Three Musketeers, I’m in the middle of France during the seventeenth century. Different worlds bring learning experiences and open my eyes to new ideas, where things I know may have come from, and simply, are interesting!
2. New Friends
When you read a story, whether it is a memoir or a short or a novel, you begin a relationship with the characters, getting to know their likes and dislikes, their dreams, their worries. And you get to experience their emotions, the success and failures, their adventures and mundane activities, with them.
I need to have at least one character in a story that I like or am rooting for. If I don’t, then the story is dull. He could be the most evil character, full of despicable traits, but if the author has crafted him in such a way that he is the hero, or anti-hero, there will be something that draws me to him and makes me care what happens in his world and how it affects him.
3. Escape From Real Life
Reading is an escape if I’m having a bad day or an adventurous celebration if I’m having a pleasant day. New worlds and new friends allow me to step away from my schooling, my job, the people I know, my frustrations from the day, and just be somewhere else for five minutes or an hour.
A good book has always helped me to relax when I need to de-stress. Books open doors to forget about what is worrying me. Books give me time and distance from my thoughts and my life, and often something in the story will click in my brain to help me process the real-life things I need to deal with.
I have a “feel-good-book” that I often re-read when I’ve had a bad day. I clearly remember grabbing that book and curling up on my bed in a cocoon of blankets while crying my eyes out. I flipped page after page for six hours after failing my driver’s test when I was seventeen. I needed an escape, so I jumped into Redeeming Love. Sometimes a good book is all the comforting you need.
I love laughing out loud to something I have read. I’ve found that nearly every book, regardless of the genre or purpose, has some humour in it. And really, isn’t it an incredible amount of fun to laugh out loud in a public place and have people look to find out why you’re laughing and see only a girl with a book?
Books are teachers you can bring with you anywhere you go. And now, with the convenience of an iPhone with apps like Dictionary and Google, I am learning even more from my books.
Exploring another world or era, or simply the way another person lives teaches you things about history, people, psychology, and yes, even yourself. Whenever there is something in a non-fiction book or novel that makes me think, I like to underline it or note it with a pencil right on the page. If there is something I don’t understand, I can grab my iPhone and look up the word or phrase or reference.
My vocabulary has grown because of my reading. My ability to speak intelligently and clearly has expanded, my knowledge of the world, of culture, of language, of motivation, of religion, has all grown. All because I read.
6. There’s Always Something to do to Pass the Time!
And finally, I love having a book with me wherever I go. I love reading because it makes even waiting for the subway, or in the dentist’s office, or for my friend to finish her makeup so we can go for dinner fun.
Yes, I’m the girl in the back of the studio prior to warm-up with sweatpants over my tights and a book in my hand. Unlike my classmates, who are usually chatting or reviewing choreography, I often sit and slowly stretch with a novel perched on my fingertips, lifted to my face, tuning out the chatter around me, getting in just a few more pages before my dance classes begin for the day.
Yes, I’m the girl whose purse is always big enough to hold a book. And always has a book in it. I’ve been known to read a novel in the movie theatre while waiting for the movie to start.
Yes, I’m the girl who stands next to the teakettle with a book in hand, reading while waiting for the water to boil, because it helps pass the three minutes in a more enjoyable and productive fashion.
I’m a bibliophile. I love to read. I love the feel of a book in my hand. The six reasons above are some of the advantages of reading; what advantages did I miss?