August 28, 2012

Books: Adventures of a Lifetime (and other reasons why I read)

Why do I read?

Surprisingly I am asked this question often. Most of my friends and family are "non-readers;" they just don't read or maybe just don't seem to enjoy it. So they really can't seem to wrap their heads around why at any spare moment I have during the day, I have a book in my hands. 

I think what really get's them is that I haven't always been a, quote on quote, "bookworm." During the school year a lot of my reading was focused on textbooks and books that were required, which was enough for me. Most of the time I enjoyed the required things (Shakespeare, Greeks, etc) that I felt there was really no need for me to pick up a "fun" book. 

It wasn't until my junior year of high school that I started reading for fun (that is since I was in elementary) due to having more study halls and free time. I would read tons, getting through a book a week. But then college happened and I was back to the land of textbooks. I tried to read one book a semester but sometimes it just didn't happen.

Now that I have graduated, I have been "catching up" on books that have been in the back of my mind or on my shelves that I haven't gotten to. I think these past three months I have read 17 books, which I find surprising myself because normally I would only have maybe finished one by now. 

But why do I read?

For me, there is no better adventure than that provided by a book. Don't get me wrong I enjoy video games, movies and TV shows that do the same, but with those there is no imagination to it for the viewer. You are just along for the ride. With a book however, you can put your own little spin on things. That is to say that authors point you in the right direction and try to "paint a picture" for you, but a lot is left up to interpretation. You don't quite have the same adventure as everyone else. 

You would be surprised how many friends I have made since reading! Living, dead, real, or fictional I have made tons. Characters have a way of leaving just as much of a mark on you as any living person in your life. You go through major and very personal events with them and develop a closeness that you can't help but have a part of them in your heart. 

Books provide a means of escape and are the cheapest vacation (or free for that matter if you borrow from the library) you will ever take and can get you to places that don't exist today. Whether it's to 19th century England or to a futuristic, dystopian USA, you can't exactly get there by flying (unless you have a DeLorean and a flux capacitor, in which case can we be best friends?). 

Plus, books are just gorgeous! Go check out these. Oh and thoseThese also. And how could I forget those?

...

A wise person once told me, "If you don't like to read, you just haven't found the right book yet."