Why do we read?

Why do we read?

When reading for pleasure, why do we read?  Is it the idea that a book can take us to another place and time; or is it merely the thought that we can, if not momentarily, leave the here and now?  Wouldn’t watching a movie have a similar effect?  Yet time after time, I find myself drawn into a book.  A paper book, no Kindle, Nook or e-Reader for me.  I like the feel of the paper in my hands as I turn the page.  The texture of the words on the page and the page itself jump out on me as I run my finger under a line to text to re-read.  My hand and forearm sometimes get sore from fighting the binding of the book to keep it open– somehow I like that.  I woudn’t trade it in for a piece of plastic with a screen.  I’m drawn to the way I can feel myself holding the book in the hear and now but my mind is elsewhere.  Maybe my mind is far away in Biblical Egypt, in the midst of the battle of Gettysburg, the jungles of Vietnam, 100 years in the futre.  Or maybe, just maybe, my mind is at a magical school for witches and wizards in the present day– one that lives in the imaginations of people all over the world.

I read for the same reason I write.  Both of these activities allow me to go to another place and time while maintaining as little or as much of my presence in the here and now as I care to.

Copyright 2011: Reads Of A Ragger. All rights reserved. No unauthorized use permitted; all derivative works must have prior approval.

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