December '16

Why do we read?

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Working in a bookshop means I see many different types of readers and it makes me wonder how all of these different people see their books. Some are perhaps buying as gifts and don’t enjoy reading themselves, some are buying a book they’ve been counting down to the release of and some are buying because it is a habit. What are the real reasons we pick up a book?

I have been reading since my young, young years – my mum and I would enjoy to sit down at bed time and share a story together, it was something I was always excited about. When I became old enough to read on my own I would stay up past my bedtime just to read one more page, to see how my story ended. As I grew up books became an up and down commodity for me, sometimes I was obsessed and sometimes it would take me a very long time to finish one. But I was always reading, no matter what, since the word go I have always had a book with my bookmark in it.

So for me, reading is something that is part of my life. Sure, it offers an escape, a new world to fall into, new characters to become friends with and a complete distraction. But really, my brain has been trained to want a book; before bed, when I wake up, I just need a book. Like my lungs need oxygen, my brain needs books (and also oxygen).

Just a short post for today, but one I feel is pressingly relevant in a world where reading could become online, or books simplified by summaries. Do not let those physical books we all first fell in love with die and don’t let our creativity to want new stories go anywhere. Take a moment to remind yourself why you fell in love with reading, because sometimes life can distract you from it.

 

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