Five Reasons To Love Reading

14/05/2015 Lists, Reading 23

Five Reasons To Love ReadingIs it just me who really can’t fathom people who don’t like reading? I get that everyone’s different (and some people probably can’t understand why I love reading so much!) but what do non-readers do with their time? And don’t tell me it’s all important real life stuff like house work and paying bills because I do all that too…but I also read.

So here are five reasons why I love reading. Why do you?

1. It’s an escape from mundanity

Don’t tell me everyone’s life is riveting 24/7 because that just isn’t true. And even if your life is super exciting, have you ever ridden a magical flying broomstick or fought a dragon? No? Well read Harry Potter because he has!

2. It’s entertaining

Reading is for the most part a leisure activity (except for at school and college where they kind of force you to do it!), and is therefore a form of entertainment. I know a lot of people prefer watching TV for entertainment because it ‘takes less work’, but for me reading isn’t hard work. When you are immersed in an incredible world, or in the head of an amazing character then reading is not only easy, but also addictive. Although I’ve had the urge to binge watch TV series before (ahem, Lost), for me it is nothing like the feeling of being physically unable to put down a book.

3. It’s educational

Although reading is for the most part entertainment (going back to #2!), it can also be educational, even if it’s fiction. Pretty much any issue you could possibly think of has been covered by a book, whether it’s war, racism, sexism, family issues, illness, mental health, abuse, death etc., and whilst TV and films can do this too, it isn’t quite the same. When you watch TV you can see the character’s reactions to all these things but you can’t know their exact feelings and thoughts like you can in a book, and I think this tends to get you closer to the issue, and educates you more about it.

4. It allows you to see from other people’s perspectives.

Our only experience of life is our own, the one that takes place in our own body as we walk everyday in our own shoes. But in some small way, reading allows us to briefly experience a little of what it would be like to be someone else, and that is one of the ways it is so wonderful. To quote Jojen from ASOIAF: ‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.’

5. It shows us what it is to be human.

Kind of a big statement, huh? Let me explain what I mean. Books are written by humans, usually about humans, and are read by humans, so they are essentially, all about humans and what it is to be one. Books encompass the past, the present and the future of the human race, and basically put into words the universal feelings that come along with being a person; joy, sadness, love, hate, loneliness… I think every reader has occasionally had that moment of clarity when reading a book where you think to yourself, ‘I recognise this, I have felt this too,’ and I think this is kind of what William Nicholson meant by ‘we read to know we are not alone’. Reading shows us that we are not alone, that everyone goes through something, even if that someone is a super celebrity or futuristic spaceman living on Mars. Or maybe I’m just rambling and this makes no sense!

So why do you love reading?

23 Responses to “Five Reasons To Love Reading”

  1. Veronika

    I really love this post, Laura and I agree with everything you said. I think books can teach us to a lot of different things. I have a friend who grew up with not exactly racist parents, but they don’t very much like immigrants. Obviously she agreed with her parents because that was the thing that she was taught all her life. Meanwhile, I convinced her to read a few books that, among many other things, dealt with racism too. She ended up loving these characters and feeling for them deeply, so obviously she reconsidered her parents’ beliefs and was mortified by their and her lack of understanding. I don’t think I have to tell you that she’s not like her parents anymore.
    Amazing post. 🙂

    • Laura

      Your friend’s story is such an great example of how reading can teach us things, and I’m so glad she ended up reconsidering her parents beliefs! I think it’s the same for a lot of people, where they are brought up to believe what their parents believe, but reading gives us so many different perspectives on life and people that it just broadens your mind, and allows you to formulate your own opinions. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  2. Elizabeth

    I love reading for your first 3 reasons, and think it’s important for the last 2. I think a lot of the non-readers are bingeing Game of Thrones, etc. in their leisure time. I know the ones in my life are!

    • Laura

      I love the Game of Thrones TV series, but I love the books even more! I think it’s great that so many non-readers get to appreciate the story though through the show.

  3. Natalie @ Flowers in my Books

    I read for all of these reasons and because when I read – I’m not alone. I’ve never had a huge amount of friends, I suffer from social anxiety so I find it hard and frankly, exhausting, to go out and socialise a lot of the time so reading is kind of like me making friends, which sounds really cheesy. I’ve lived a hundred lives and fallen in love countless times through reading and it’s something that will never cease to exist. I read because I love it.

    • Laura

      That doesn’t sound cheesy at all! I’m really shy too (and although I’ve never been diagnosed, I suspect I have social anxiety too) and have never had a lot of friends, so I feel exactly the same about reading. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Maddy E

    I’m always baffled when people say anything along the lines of “Reading? Ugh.” How can people like fantasy movies so much and not want to read the books they’re based on? How different is it to read the (usually better version of the) story on paper instead of on the screen?

    • Laura

      That always baffles me too! I love the LOTR films and the Game of Thrones TV series, but the books are so much better, so I can’t understand when people are like ‘why read the book when you can just watch the film/TV series?’ I know there’s the whole visual spectacle with films, but books just go into so much more detail, and you get more insight into the characters.

  5. Killian

    I love this post! Reading is definitely a big part of my life and I think you’ve touched upon all the things that make it so great. It allows us to experience things we would never otherwise experience, broaden our minds and challenge ourselves. Different mediums do have different pros and cons (for example, film can do some things better than books and vice versa) but I think you really pinned down what makes reading so enjoyable. Great post.

    • Laura

      It’s definitely true that different mediums do different things, which is why I really like watching book adaptations to see how they have been interpreted. I usually prefer the book to the film though, although it’s great that non-readers are exposed to some really great stories that they wouldn’t otherwise through adaptations. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Naomi

    I legitimately need to show this post to people who say that books are boring and a waste of time. Books are can be even more entertaining that a TV Show plus most of the TV shows people watch are usually based on books. Plus, TV shows miss out major parts of the plot and make up characters so it is fun in a way to compare the book to the show.
    Naomi @The Perks Of Being A Bookworm

    • Laura

      Even though I usually prefer the book to the film/TV adaptation, I do really enjoy watching them just to compare and see how the book was interpreted. I especially like watching them with non-readers because you know what’s going to happen and get to see their reaction. Game of Thrones in particular is great for that! Every time someone dies and everyone else is shocked, I’m just like ‘I knew that would happen!’
      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Cayt

    I agree with everything you said here. I really don’t get people who don’t like to read. It’s up to them what they do in their free time, obviously, but I can’t picture not reading! I have friends who don’t read at all and haven’t since the last book they were forced to read in high school. They’re missing out on so much!

    Reading is a great form of entertainment and escapism. My life isn’t terrible, by any means, but it’s still nice to forget about my stress for awhile and read something fantastic. But the best part of reading is the ability to learn and get the perspective of other people. I can’t change that I’m a 30 year old white girl who grew up in Maryland, USA but I can read books about different people of different races from all over the world and get a little insight into how other people think. It really helps expand your horizons. I’ve heard people talk about how they were closed minded growing up, until they read more and realized that, for instance, gay people are just as much deserving people as anyone else. Books did that!

    • Laura

      People who don’t read really are missing out on so much! My life is far from terrible as well, but it is still a good way to escape for a while and de-stress. And you really do get a lot of insight into the lives of other people through reading, and I think it definitely makes you more open-minded, which is pretty amazing. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Michelle Stanley

    I agree these are good reasons to enjoy reading and like the post. Reading enriches one’s mind. Hard to believe there are folks who dislike picking up a book to read.

  9. Jasmine

    I’ve worked at an indie bookshop for 4 and a half years but it wasn’t until this year that I stopped saying that ‘I love books but hate reading’ and actually sat down and read a book!! It took a while to get going but I’ve read 11 books so far this year which is completely unbelievable for me! Wonderful post and I love your blog xxxx

    • Laura

      Thanks! It’s so great that you’ve got more into reading! 11 books in five months is pretty good going. 🙂

    • Laura

      It’s definitely really interesting to see from other people’s perspectives through books. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  10. Farhana

    I think most people who don’t read watch TV instead. You can escape into a TV series the same way you can escape into a book. It also takes a lot less mental capacity to sit and watch something than it does to sit, read, and understand a book (In my opinion! Of course there are complex shows/films out there too which prove this wrong)

    I like to think most people that don’t read just haven’t found the right book!

    • Laura

      TV probably is the non-reader’s version of reading a book. I love watching TV series myself, but for some reason don’t often have the attention span to watch films (which is weird seen as I can sit for hours with a book, but can’t just sit there for a couple of hours and watch a film).
      And I like the idea that people who don’t read just haven’t found the right book. I wrote a post a while back about how my sister was trying to get into reading, but she still hasn’t, and I think it’s just because she hasn’t yet found that perfect book. Thanks for commenting!

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