Why I Read

November 20th, 2014
Stack of books

One of the things that I share most readily about myself is that I love to read. Or perhaps “love” is too understated. I live and breathe books is probably more accurate. Since the time I learned to read – at the ripe young age of three – I have carried a book with me everywhere but into water – because of course that would damage my precious books.

But what I don’t always share isĀ why I read – which is probably just as important, if not more so.

It’s too simple to say I read because I breathe – although it sometimes feels that way. I read because it expands my mind. I read to learn about other people in other situations in other lives. I read to learn what being in the middle of a war feels like, to understand what it means to be a slave, to have someone close to you die, to have massive success. I read to put myself in someone else’s shoes for a little while and better understand other people and, through them, myself.

But I also read to escape from my life – to escape from stressors and depression and work. There are few things that rejuvenate me during a hard day of work like taking my lunch hour to read a book that has nothing to do with my life. And sometimes that escape provides me with a different perspective with which to view whatever frustrations I might be experiencing at that time.

I read because I love the written word. I love the way certain people can craft it into a story that is bigger than me. I read because it motivates me, it cleanses me, it moves me in a way few other things do.

So yes, I read because I breathe.

Why do you read?