Why Do I Read?

I read. Quite a lot. I love to read.

I always have a book on the go. I do tend to only read one at a time, unlike my daughter who has 3-4 going at the same time. As soon as I finish a book, I peruse my TBR pile and select my next read, I do enjoy this part! I have a lot of books on that pile as I’ve bought quite a few and have managed to acquire many more – when people know that you love to read, they like to pass books onto you – perfect.

For me personally, I struggle to remember a time that I didn’t read.

I vaguely recall learning, reading some Cathy and Mark books – do you remember those? Then after that point I remember various books that I read at school, both there and at home, I remember enjoying being a school librarian at primary school, I remember summers filled with me lying around reading – and yes, my parents were often trying to get me to move!

As I type this, so many stories are flying through my mind that I read as a child and a teen and I see myself reading in our living room or all snuggled up in bed reading way, way past my bedtime. From Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and CS Lewis through to Judy Blume and Sweet Valley High and then onto Virginia Andrews, James Herbert, Stephen King and Jilly Cooper, they all made an impact. I’m not sure that I read quite as much in my late teens and twenties. I can’t really remember, but as you’d expect at that age, I was working then out every night, so I doubt that I did. But books would always have lurked on my shelves, ready for me when I wanted them.

Nowadays as well as enjoying reading, it’s important for me that my kids see that I often have a book in hand. It’s normal for them to spend time in libraries, bookshops and spotting me reading. I do tend to read more after they’ve gone to bed – I am not ignoring them all day!

Sometimes when they’re absorbed in an activity together, though, I’ll take the opportunity to grab my book and read for a bit, and I do think there’s value in them seeing that. Reading is not only hugely important for them educationally and emotionally, it can also give them a wonderful accessible and relatively inexpensive hobby for life (OK, book shopping can get expensive, I know that, but there are libraries!!).

It’s difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t love reading the excitement over choosing new books, on starting a new read, the eagerness to get all of your work done so that you can sink back down into your book and pick up the story.

I can read anywhere and I can be surrounded by noise and activity and block it all out and disappear into my book if I want to. I’ll often read of an evening if the Husband’s watching something on TV that doesn’t hold my attention, though I can also follow the TV and read my book, dipping in and out. I need not read to the end of a page or a chapter, I just read and stop wherever I need to, so I can easily read bits and pieces in small gaps of time.

I shared several benefits of reading in 12 reasons to pick up a book and I just know that for me, I read to relax and switch off. And when I do so I get transported into new worlds and lives that all leave their mark on me.

Why do you read?

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10 thoughts on “Why Do I Read?”

  1. I’ve always been a big reader too. My dad always read with me and I completed the set reading at school way before everyone else and started to read to myself for fun. I used to love going to the library and taking out the maximum allowance, storming through the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High before moving on to ‘grown up’ books. Now that I’m a parent I find I have less time to read (reading in bed just makes me fall asleep) but I’m ‘fortunate’ that I work a 90 minute bus ride from home and can’t drive, so I still manage to average a book or two a week. Sadly, this is the majority of my me time these days but I make the most of it with great titles.

    1. Ah yes, commutes are so handy for reading, glad you’re still managing to squeeze some in each week. I used to love library visits, too, happy memories.

  2. I’ve always read. Looking back, I’ve done a lot of “waiting around/killing time” reading all the way through my life. I loved reading in the long summer holidays. I have very fond memories of working my way through most of Charles Dickens over those holidays as a teen. I buy most of my books from charity shops, usually Oxfam as they have a fabulous bookstore not too far away. I then return them. I like to think of it as a library/charity-giving set up without the mention of a fine! I think your point about reading so that the children can see you reading is really important. Something my son said yesterday made me think that he is receiving a positive message when he sees me read.

    1. I think it is important they see me reading, it makes them see it as a life habit, one that they know I enjoy. The waiting around reading is so true, read whenever there are gaps to fill.

  3. I rarely get time to read it seems, apart from my gardening magazine but get more chance in the winter time when we are sat by the fire not watching TV. We love going to Waterstones. I’ve said before that it is a bit like Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s where she says nothing bad could ever happen there and I feel the same way when I go in and stroke the lovely notebooks they sell! #BringBackPaper! The boys love looking in there. We also visited Harry’s secondary school as you may remember and Alfie declared the library the best place in the school! He often has more than one book on the go which I used to worry about as I thought he wouldn’t understand the story of any of them but as long as they are reading that is ok. And of course they are reading in Welsh so I should be VERY proud!

    1. My kids love visiting Waterstones, too, it is a happy place, as is any bookstore to me! My girl often has several books on the go, but like you say, she keeps up so I let her get on with it. And yes, you should be very proud!

  4. Lovely post! I love reading although I go in fits and starts, sometimes I’ll go for ages without and then I’ll read several books in one week. I do need to be able to concentrate on a book so if my husband is watching TV I take myself upstairs to bed early so that I can read (he’s not a reader). I love books about people in different historical times and different situations to me, and books that leave me thinking about them afterwards.

    1. My husband’s like that, he needs quiet to read. Yes, I love it when a character or storyline stay with me for days and weeks after reading, and it’s the ones that stay with me for years that are really special.

  5. Both my husband and I are big readers and our house is stuffed with both fiction and non-fiction. We really like discovering new authors ( we are currently enjoying Tami Hoag and Karin Slaughter and Lee Childs at the mo) and sharing our thoughts on the books with each other. We usually buy on Amazon or from charity shops and send the ones we dont want to keep back to a charity shop when we are done. I read to wind down and when things are a bit tough ( at work usually) I tend to escape into my book when I get home. I see lots of people daily who can no longer read due to failing eyesight and to me, thats incredibly sad. I dont know how I would cope if I couldnt read, audio books just arent the same.

    1. No, they’re not, and for someone with terrible eyesight this is something that’s crossed my mind once or twice. I can’t imagine a life without reading in it. I love finding new authors, too, it’s exciting to stumble across new series’ that you love.

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