Why do you read?

books and flowers

As an author, I am always curious about what motivates people to read. I’ve done posts before about how people choose books, about covers and colors and what you seek in a blurb, but this post poses a simpler question with perhaps an opportunity for more complex answers.

Why do you read?

Sometimes I read to learn, sometimes to go on an adventure in a far away place I will probably never get to in real life. Occasionally, I read because it is such a part of me. Whereas some people enjoy movies, music or the theatre, favourite sports or socialising with others, I like books. I love the feel of them, the scent of them, the way they make you feel like someone understands when no one else does.

Sometimes I read to improve my craft. There are so many reasons. I also love the feeling of finding a new book–you know the rush of wondering what is inside the cover and if it will be as good as it sounds. The excitement of a new book can be better than…

My heart flutters and I dance from foot to foot until I can get the book home and see what it has to offer. I might be a little obsessed.

So what about you? What makes you return to the pages of a book? Why do you read?

15 thoughts on “Why do you read?”

  1. I read to escape everyday life. But beyond that, I’m like a junkie looking for that ever-elusive first high. I search for books I can not only escape into, but that I can get immersed in. The kind that if you’re not reading, you’re thinking about and can’t wait to get back to. The kind that give you a book-hangover.
    Reading really is an addiction. One that I’ve suffered with since I was a child.

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  2. Hi! I popped over via Linda’s blog!
    Great question.
    I read to escape reality sometimes. To relax too.
    I love to explore different books to discover new genres.
    I read to see if I am able to do justice to my prospective readers with the book I’m struggling to find time to write.
    I read to encourage my kids to lose themselves in books too!!!

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  3. I think I read because I am. It is me. I have always read. I can’t not read. I am more discerning about my reading today. I listen to the voice inside, and it often simply leads me to pick up certain books. Sometimes I’m agitated and then start reading and go, “Ah…that’s what I needed, a good read.” You’d think I’d know by now. I prefer paper books over electronic, because I adore the smell and feel and sight of paper and printed ink. Please, God, let there never be an end to books and good tea. Waving, girlfriend and fellow book lover.

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  4. Reading is like breathing to me.

    I read fiction because the next story could be the next one that makes me cry, makes my toes curl, allows me into a place of wonder.

    I read for entertainment.

    I read non-fiction because life without learning is not a life.

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  5. I read to keep up with what is going on in the world around me and to stay informed. And then, once I’m informed, I read to escape that reality to which I’ve become informed.

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  6. I love to read and do it every night. My reading is mostly to keep up with what is going on in the fictional world. I have had more fun reading books of people I correspond with regularly. Not better than but at my age damn close.

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  7. I’m a Read-a-holic reading anything and everything that might take my fancy at the time. I read for inspiration. I read to learn. I read to lose myself within another world. I love to become someone else for a time how they feel and think. I devour words any time of the day or night, whenever I can snatch a moment. Probably the places I read most are in bed or walking between the car park and my place of work. I prefer the feel & the smell of the printed page. But I will now read on Kindle. Reading is my greatest pleasure and yes I am totally addicted.

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  8. Saw this over on Linda’s site (BTW, she’s great, isn’t she?). Reading is one of my remaining joys in life. I read while eating, while waiting anywhere, and at bedtime to help me relax before sleep. Being old-fashioned (emphasis on old), I like “real” books with covers and paper pages that I can feel and turn. There’s something satisfying about turning over that paper to the next page – I doubt I would get that feeling with an electronic version.

    Although, I’m also not opposed to reading the how-to manuals that some with a new product purchase, or the labels on household supplies, or the backs of cereal boxes. I guess I’m just a reading junkie.

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  9. I read to learn. I read to be connected. I read to experience a wide range of emotions. I read to escape from the daily grind. I’ve always said reading is like therapy. It cures what ails me. And I don’t just read books, I inhale them.

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  10. I read to learn about new lifestyles and cultures, both to as entertainment and as my own personal education. There’s something very uplifting about immersing myself in a different way of life. It really helps me to become a stronger and more well-rounded writer 🙂


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