by: Joelle Charbonneau
Yesterday, I attended a family graduation party. I love hanging out with family. There never seems to be enough opportunities. During this party, I was lucky to have lots of time to chat with one of my younger cousins. He admitted to me that he only read books written by me (thanks, Dylan!) or the ones that he was forced to read by teachers in school. Another cousin mentioned that she couldn’t remember the last book she read. She then looked at me and said, “I bet you’ve always been a reader and the studious type.”
Well, I have to admit –guilty as charged—about the reading. Studious isn’t the word I would say always applies to me. As I was driving home, I started thinking about my love affair with reading. Because it is a love affair. There has never been a year where I didn’t read at least 50 books or more. Sometimes a heck of a lot more. My mother likes to read now. (Hi, Mom!) But she wasn’t a huge reader while I was growing up. My dad was certainly not the sit-down-and-read-a-book type. He was the go outdoors and work in the yard kind of guy. So, I found myself asking….why do I read?
My gut answer is—because I can’t imagine not reading.
That answer seemed strange to me because there are lots of other reason that I read. I read because it makes me think about the world in different ways and makes me a happier person. I read because I want to experience the world through eyes that are not my own. I read because it is part of how I define myself.
The list is endless. But my first answer stands. I read because I can’t imagine not reading. So it was interesting to me to talk to people I love and have so much in common with and find that many of them cannot imagine reading at all.
How about you? Why do you read? And if your answer is that you aren’t typically a reader – why not?
I personally read for a number of reasons. I read so I can study the craft and through observing become a better writer. I learn to understand what to avoid so that I don't make the same mistakes. I read to lose myself in the world of someone else's creation but with my own unique paradigm influence the journey. I read because it gives me knowledge. It inspires new ideas for both my books and my blogs. But, mostly, I read because it's a compulsion. I am addicted to stories, for they are the thing of life. I couldn't imagine just merely existing.
I read for fun.
I read to learn.
I read to live.
I read to experience God's gift of storytelling.
I read to revel in awe at how great writers use language.
I read to share a story with others.
I read to laugh.
I read to cry.
I read to feel moved.
I read to get angry.
I read to love.
I read to be transformed.
I read to be transported somewhere else.
I read to change things.
I read to have an experience that resonates with me long after I close the book.
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