The question may sound silly: why does one read?
I must admit, I have never been an avid reader, yet books have always fascinated me. From a young age, I recall opening the myriad books my mother had on her shelves and thinking that one day I would read all of them. I was probably six or seven when I vividly remember having these feelings about The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I was drawn to the book for reasons beyond my comprehension and would hold it for hours, simply flipping through its pages. Perhaps it was the image of a yearling on its cover that captivated me- something that could easily grab the attention of a young girl – or the softness of its curves as I held it in my palms. At 528 pages, it was a long read, and I glared upon it in awe. As I write this, I realize the irony in that the author was a woman, something that as an aspiring author myself, would come to mean so much more than I could have ever realized.
Reading has always been something that I struggled with as a child. Not for an inability to read, but rather for a lack of enjoyment of reading. I watched with envy as friends and family would read countless books while I struggled to get through one, despite my every desire; I would often find myself daydreaming and unable to concentrate long enough to stick with a book. But as I have gotten older, my love of reading has grown in spades and so has my ability to get through a tome cover to cover.
Recently, I have found myself sharing books with friends and this is how I arrived at the topic of this blog post: we all read for different reasons. As I find myself excited to tell others of books that I am enjoying, I find that their interests in books vary from mine; many of my friends enjoy reading novels whereas I prefer nonfiction. And here we are at the crux of the issue I had growing up – the books I was reading were not satisfying my deepest desires.
And so all those years, I elected to watch copious amounts of television while others may have chosen novels instead. Today, when I read, I always find myself grabbing titles that purport to feed your intellect and make you think. I also have a strong interest in people. Not only am I writing a memoir, I actually love reading memoirs. People and humanity intrigue me.
I have been ridiculed for as long as I can remember by my own family of being “all over the place” or lacking a singular passion; I have an insatiable hunger to learn and my interests are far and wide. THIS is why I read. I read because I want to know more about the world. Because doing the same thing day in and day out doesn’t appeal to me. I get bored easily and I don’t want to limit myself. So I have chosen to forget the naysayers. Who are they to say what I must conform to? When did society dictate that we must do one thing our whole lives, or be passionate about one thing alone? This is nonsense. Life is full of infinite beauty and endless options so why limit ourselves?
While many may choose to read as a form of escape, as I often do when I binge watch my newest TV obsession, I read to expand my knowledge base. So, whatever reason you do have for reading, just keep reading! That is what counts.