Why do I read?
I suppose there are a thousand “proper” answers – to learn more about the world around me, to become more knowledgeable, to gain empathy for others, and so on. I would like to say that I have a lofty reason but quite honesty, reading makes me happy. Don’t get me wrong; I do read a variety of different types of literature and I do learn a lot, but I rarely choose a book to read because by doing so, I am going to better myself. I read what interests me, and if a book doesn’t hold my attention or interest after 50 pages or so, then I let it go.
I know that reading was instilled in me as a small child; my parents are readers, there were always books in the house, and long after a nap time was needed, my mother would require a half hour “quiet time” where we would all go to our rooms to read quietly. After I became a parent myself, I realized the true brilliance of this plan. I am sure that my mother’s quiet time was also spent catching up on her reading too. Now, in the crazy life of a mom of three children, I actually enjoy the time spent in the car pool line. That is my guilt-free quiet time to spend reading. I admit to arriving at car pool 15- 20 minutes early just to guarantee time to finish that extra chapter. I am sure that friends think me rude because I actually dread when someone approaches my car to chat; don’t they know that I have another chapter to finish!!
I am blessed to have found a spouse who also enjoys reading as much as I do. Ironically, we rarely have in-depth discussions about what we read but rather share quotes and funny comments. In our early days of marriage, after work on Friday, we would meet for dinner and then head over to the local Borders Bookstore. We would browse the shelves, sometimes purchasing but most often just looking, then meet up in the café for tea and coffee. Complete nerds, I know. What I love is that I can now do the same thing with my children.
My life is . . . well, life. It has its ups and downs; some days are amazing, some days are miserable, but I don’t have anything that requires total escapism. Reading provides me pleasure. It is a way to see different lives and places; some that are fine for a quick trip and others that I want to linger with. To me, reading is better than a cup of tea in the morning or a glass of wine at night (although both are nice additions). Reading to me is as essential as the air I breathe; it gives me life but also makes me think about life and I think I enjoy life more because I read.