February is I Love to Read Month! A time to celebrate reading and all the joy it brings. I’m an avid reader and truly can’t imagine a world without books – there are just so many good things about them! Here are some of the reasons I love to read:
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”― Mason Cooley
When I’m having a bad day, it’s nice to be able to get lost in a good story. Reading takes more concentration than watching TV or scrolling through a phone, so it actually allows me to focus my mind on something else for a little while.
“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” – Roald Dahl
Not to brag but I am VERY good at Jeopardy, and that’s because I have a wealth of trivial information I learned from books. Seriously though, books (nonfiction or not) are a great place to learn about all sorts of different subjects, and they can make difficult topics more approachable. I’ve learned more about world history and other cultures from books than I ever learned in school. You become a better thinker just by reading. Books can introduce you to new ideas and perspectives, challenge your ideals, and really make you think about things you might not have before. Reading will also make you a better writer.
To feel less alone
“We read to know that we are not alone.” — C.S. Lewis
When you’re going through something others don’t understand and you feel alone, reading about someone going through a similar situation can help – finally – someone who gets it! That’s a comforting feeling. Reading can also make you feel like you’re part of something bigger – your story is reflected in all sorts of stories from different places and times. Stories are universal. You are not alone.
“One of the joys of reading is the ability to plug into the shared wisdom of mankind.” — Ishmael Reed
Books have helped me through some of the hardest times in my life. Reading stories of other people struggling can help you work through difficult emotions and understand tough situations. They can offer advice, hope, and inspiration even in the darkest of times. I honestly don’t know what I would do without them.
Books can bring people together in so many ways. I love sharing my love of reading with my niece and discussing the books we’ve both read together. Reading to someone can help you bond with them, too. But, it’s more than that. Hearing other people’s stories allows us to understand them better, teaches us compassion, and leads to better relationships overall.
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” – Jane Austen
Getting lost in a good book is a great way to pass time, and can give you all the feels that any TV show or movie does. Books have made me laugh, cry, and yell at characters in anger. A good thriller can make your adrenaline rush, and a good horror novel can creep you out (possibly more than a movie, if your imagination is worse than the special effects department). Honestly, if you find reading boring, you probably haven’t found the right book yet.
Books are timeless
Not just stories. Printed books are timeless. They have been around for centuries and will continue despite the advancement of technology. Books will outlast CD’s, MP3s, floppy disks, videos, and other forms of media because they are simple and portable. You don’t need an HDMI converter to read a 100-year old book. You can just open it and read it. The book you’re reading will transcend time more than any Instagram selfie. “It’s history, it’s poetry”, and it’s beautiful!