Why Read?

The reason we read in relatively simple terms is either because we are forced to or it is because it is a pleasurable experience for us.

What is meant by being forced to read? In today’s society, where education takes priority in most countries, is it hard not to follow the standard expectations set by these educational systems where one of the requirements is having to be able to read. Therefore, we are forced to read in order to meet these expectations because reading is one of the first and most basic of skills taught at schools which imply that without this skill your understanding of communication and the world is lacking. An example of this forced form of reading is reflected most clearly in the results of tests. If you failed a test it meant that you didn’t study hard enough or that you didn’t read the instructions on the test clearly enough, both of which requires having to read. Passing the test, however, meant that you have read and understood the material that the test was about showing that reading has helped in your comprehension of the subject. This is what is meant by forced reading and many of us don’t even realize it because we just do as we’re told no questions asked.

Reading as a pleasurable experience, however, means that you are genuinely interested in reading for your own satisfaction and not anyone else’s. Reading is now made more enjoyable with the knowledge of not being pressured to read about a certain material.  Now one can enjoy reading and furthering their knowledge about a subject without the confines of being forced to read the material. This freedom you now have of being able to choose what to read without anyone telling you what you should read or have to read allows one to relax and just let reading serve as a welcoming distraction or get away from the real world.

No matter what is said to be the reason we read, there is no escaping from the fact that reading is an integral part of our lives so we should just accept the fact that we have to read and get on with life.

-Ellen Shing


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