Why Do We Read?

February 01, 2020

We all read for different reasons. For some, literature is an escape, a set of destinations bound to be discovered, and akin to reality, understood and appreciated in manifold ways. For others, reading is an exercise, the means to an end of mental expansion and enhanced self-worth.

I straddle precariously between these two, fumbling and stumbling my way through the darkness, enjoying the sense of growth and discovery, but always amazed at how little I know and how much there is to learn.

There are endless fields and meadows bursting with grassy words, metaphors gracing the land, verbs darting across the sky and hunting for adjectives, while nouns and pronouns fight up-river to engender a new sentence. It all may seem hopeless: the disorder, the chaos, the massive, momentous tendency towards entropy and ignorance.

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But hopeless it is not. For the true worth of reading is not in its end, in that finality, in the last page; it is in the commingling of ideas, in their ability to grind and dice our brain ever-which-way; in its bewildering, opportunistic aptness to mold our most basic thoughts.

We all read for different reasons, but regardless, the benefit is mutual; for through it, we become better individuals, with a high acuity and ability to understand the world around us.

So next time you pick up a book, smell the aroma of its pages, pause for a moment and think what a wonderful gift the written word is; then zip your coffee or tea, and say thank you. Some may hear you and think you’re crazy, but your book won’t, and it will reward your gratitude with serenity, knowledge, and wisdom.

Happy Reading!

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