Some of you may not agree with the awesomeness of reading. That’s okay. I feel a sense of pity for you, and hope that there’s something in your life which is similarly wonderful.
I began reading young because I was read to by my parents and brother and whoever else who was suckered into the task. Like most kids, I eventually memorized the book. Heaven help the person who tried to skip a page.
Then my mother promised me I could go to school with my brother if I learned how to read. Unfortunately, this is not true in most schoolboards: admittance does not depend on your reading ability, but your age. So I had to wait.
Since then, I’ve been reading voraciously. Occasionally I go through dry spells, but you can depend, there’s ALWAYS a stack of books in the wings, just waiting for my eager eyes.
These are my top 5 reasons why reading is awesome.
1 / No matter how young you are, you have a wealth of information and experience at your disposal. I have not lived through the Holocaust, or spent any time in the Middle East—but I have a sense of these things through the books I’ve read. Books give you wisdom and perspective you might not otherwise gain from your own narrow life.
2 / You can travel on a budget—or even go back in time. I’ve walked the moors of England, the dry scrub of the Australian desert, and the ancient streets of Budapest while tracking down a vampire. All of this is done, of course, through the safety of words bound in a cozy volume. I’ve seen so many parts of the world for just a few dollars. And, unlike those who strive to build time machines, I’ve gone back and visited Elizabethan England or Revolutionary America merely by cracking open the spine of a good tome.
3 / You’ve conquered hundreds of hearts and been courted by the most lovely characters in literature. Sometimes they turn out to be scoundrels, but more often than not, they are witty, charming, and more handsome than you can ever imagine. And if you happen to be in the right place, they’ll make you heave and swoon with the most romantic gestures ever. The best part is, it’s because you are a wonderful, original character and there is no one like you.
4 / You get to do some dirty deeds without getting a reputation. Whether you have a fling with some rake who isn’t quite up to your standards, or get back at your employer with a clever scheme, you can do things you wouldn’t normally do. And you don’t get caught. If you transport yourself to the darkest bowels of the human mind, you might even become a thief or killer—all from the safety of your couch or bed.
5 / A slim volume can be carried with you anywhere, ready to transport you at any time. The most dreadful of waits at the Department of Motor Vehicles or Doctor’s Office can become an opportunity to lose yourself in the best of literature (or a smutty book that provides hours of titillation). You can ignore whatever is happening around you and become absorbed in some alternate reality—and no one else has to come with you.