As an English major, people always ask me, after seeing me on a bench with yet another book: “Do you actually like to read?”
I’m not sure why else people think I’d be doing it. Although for science and math oriented friends, sitting down and opening a 200 page book doesn’t happen outside of one of the circles of hell.
Empathy can be useful, but I couldn’t even begin to empathize with this madman. But I did try to answer his question, although I certainly didn’t convert him.
I read because I enjoy it and I learn from it. It teaches things about myself. I’m curious and it’s the only way to do all of the things I want to do, but may never have the time or money for. I don’t feel like “me” if I don’t read; it’s an addiction that actually improves my life. It helps me write well; it’s a way for me to thank the writers who have enriched my life. It gives me something consistent in my life; the words never change, as my interpretations sometimes do. I value intelligence…and the list goes on.
Books are not a substitute for experience, but can be complementary to it.
I read because I can’t stop. I read because my parents started taking me to the library when I was about two days old.
I read because it’s what I love to do. Nothing else makes me feel the way a great book does.
“That’s really weird,” my friends always reply.
How about you? Why do you do it?