Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Why I Love to Read

Lilla Cabot Perry understood.
I love to read. Always have. Ever since I got my first library card at the age of 3, books have been an important part of my life.

This is why I love to read:

Escape.  I'll read pretty much anything, but escapist fiction is the top love of my life. Reality can be harsh and cruel, especially to the Shortest Girl in Class.  But when you lose yourself in a book, that reality goes far, far away.  A good book is a holiday away from life.  As a child, I fled to Narnia, to Terabithia, to Middle Earth, to Hawaii, to Pern, to Riva, to anywhere but Here.

Alas, books were always too short. Eventually I had to return.

Healing.  When the Black Dogs get you down, being able to leave the pain behind and put yourself in a book allows your heart to heal.  A healed heart makes it easier to deal with the crap in Real Life.

Sense of Belonging.  I didn't really fit in with the surrounds in which I grew up. My schools were far too homogenous for my comfort.  But in a book, I found people who had the same drive as me, who shared similar goals: "I am better than I appear and can accomplish mighty things."

Education.  I learned a lot about humanity from fiction. I learned successful human interaction, I learned how to deal with weaknesses, plot twists, bad guys, I learned that thinking outside of the box brings greater success than sticking with the ordinary.  I learned that a lot of what happens in Real Life isn't as dire or important as it wants to be, compared to fighting dark, brooding gods, battling dragons, rebelling against Evil Alien Overlords or the perils of time travel.

Books Understood.   When nobody else got you, books did. How could some stranger (as authors were in those days) possibly understand what you were going through or what you needed most? But they did.  Very few people understood me when I was young. But when I opened a book, it was like coming home.

Adventure.  Until I could grow up and have adventures of my own, books were the next best thing.  Even now, when I spend much of my adult life in one adventure after another, there are times when I simply wish to sit quietly and let the adventure come to me.  Unlike real life, books can take me to another world.

Why do you love to read?
Her Grace is an avid reader who, by the age of fourteen, had read every single book in the house. She is a frequenter of libraries and the occasional bookstore.  She encourages you to read her stuff.  But if you don't, she encourages you to read something else, as there's lots of lovely stories out there.

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