Why Do We Read?

This blog is all about writing, but it’s natural to therefore look at reading.

I love it. If you read this blog, you love it. But why should we do it?

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This kid has a bright future!

  1. It’s a great way to learn! I’m known as a keeper of arcane trivia, and not so arcane. I only showed up for tests in my college Astronomy 101 class. Everything I needed to know about astronomy I learned in comic books. Non-fiction is all about learning. Beware, though; be discerning; you can learn right and you can be seduced by the dark side.
  2. It sharpens critical thinking. Or it can. Most stories flow logically and offer a logical twist or two. Keeping track of a story sharpens your thinking. Sorting through red herrings and real clues makes you discriminate.
  3.  It widens your world. Trapped in a small suburb, I traveled to the stars, the past, far flung places without ever leaving my couch.
  4. You can try on different occupations. You find out what it is to be a lawyer, a crook, a conman, a detective, a superhero, and a thousand other occupations. Me, I found writing, but I was intrigued by lawyers (talked out of it by my Uncle Lawyer, darn it).
  5. It increases your imagination. This is the elephant in the room, not because it’s hiding but because it’s big! Life is made interesting with an imagination and like anything, it takes exercise to strengthen. Bench press a book! Workout your dreams!

You’ll benefit by reading, a realm of pure imagination. You make the sets, you envision the characters, you direct the action!

I recommend reading widely. By the time I was 14 I’d read thousands of books from dozens of genres. Thousands of comic books, hundreds of non-fiction books, thousands of magazines. I’d read the Bible, the Koran, the Upanishads, Sun Tzu, even the Peal of Wisdom. I was, unfortunately, stuck reading English, yet loved the plays of the Greeks and even the French. German plays were weird, even in the translations. I can’t help but know things.

I don’t read quite as much as I used to. Barely 24 – 30 novels a year, just a smattering of non-fiction. I admit I love comics, but no way I’ll spend that kind of money of them (thank goodness for libraries). My Kindle has hundreds of books I have yet to read.

And I still live a full life.

Read. It’s good for you. And for authors.

One thought on “Why Do We Read?”

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