Many of us read. Some read fantasy, others read sci-fi. Some are partial to non-fiction or self-help. And some read just about everything. But why do we read? The answer can be abundant and vary from individual to individual. Below are some of the most significant reasons.
In her critical book Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books, Wendy Lesser provides some “mutually contradictory” reasons why people read. People read, Wendy points out, to pass the time, to savor the existence of time, to escape from oneself into someone else’s world, to find oneself in someone else’s words, to exercise critical capacities, and to flee from the need for rational explanations.
Harold Bloom, the author of How to Read and Why, adds that many of us continue to read because reading enables us to retain a capacity to form our judgments and opinions. It also helps to “prepare ourselves for change.” There are also some of us who read, according to Sir Francis Bacon, Dr. Samuel Johnson, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, “to strengthen the self and to learn its authentic interests.”
Another interesting reason why people read is provided in this book Why I Read 5 Newspapers Every Day by Praveen Patil. He writes that doing so allows him to improve storytelling in his workplace. He finds out that those newspapers use different ways to report the same story. So by reading five newspapers, he can get different perspectives for the same stories.
I primarily read to expand my knowledge and to write better. Why do you read? To prepare for the tests or exams? To reinforce ideas? To make a living? To become a better person? Share your thoughts below if you have a different reason to read.