Why do I read? I believe that reading is the most powerful form of escapism that any person could take part in. Why should everyone read? The written word, as opposed to the spoken word, allows for so much interpretation, experience, and involvement.
If given the choice of a television with 100 different channels ranging in variety from culinary programming to mystery or a library stocked with 100 books with the same range, I would hands down take the books. I know that I am not alone with this feeling however I am aware of the opposition to my perspective. While a part of the population will argue that television or film is the most effective form of escapism, I disagree. One can only glean so much from the moving pictures, backgrounds, dialogues and settings displayed upon a screen. Each time the crisp cover of a new novel is cracked, and fingers dance across smooth pages of endless imagination the reader creates. The reader becomes a part of the story by envisioning an image for each scenario and character. It is in that way that the book becomes an experience that is shared solely by the reader and author and is never repeated by anyone else. We all must read. Literacy is of the utmost importance in our society. To be illiterate in our present day is to be uninformed, unaware, and nearly unconscious. To read is to create a unique experience, to use the brain rather than numb it and to be able to share with others. I learned to love reading from a very young age and whether I am reading to escape reality or to learn something new, I am always growing with each turned page and am never closed off to possibility.
In the words of author Motoko Rich, “The gestation of a true, committed reader is in some ways a magical process, shaped in part by external forces but also by a spark within the imagination.”
Rich, Motoko. “A Good Mystery: Why We Read.” New York Times 25 November 2007. 21 September 2009