I don’t know who said it, and Google has been little help. I don’t know, maybe I have the quote wrong, but it goes something like this in my memory:
“Reading allows us to be who we are not.”
How incredibly powerful is that?
It applies to me in a million different ways. I bet you can think of a few too? Share, please.
Reason # 1
I’m shy. I have anxiety; I’m a classic introvert. Parties are pure torture, I find family get-togethers tiring, and I think I am a lousy conversationalist, as I spend most of my time thinking about what I will say next.
I was a bartender in college. I took a girl home once, okay, if I’m honest, she picked me up. We went back to my apartment; she looked around and then left. I flunked seduction 101.
Books allow me to be witty and sophisticated in a way that I am not in real life.
I can be the life of the party in a book.
Reason # 2
Moral certainty is rare, and there are certainly two sides to most things.
When I read a book, I believe. There are good guys and bad guys, and it’s okay to hate the bad guys.
I love The Lord of the Rings. It’s entirely okay for the reader to hate Mordor and imagine yourself fighting against the forces of doom. That’s what good people do.
How about a current event ripped from the headlines? As I write this, Russia is on the verge of invading Ukraine. That’s bad and evil, and we should hate the Russians, or maybe just Putin, as millions of people will die.
Press isn’t free in Russia, and I’ve read several stories now, stating the Russian people don’t clearly understand what’s happening, as the state runs the media.
So, it’s a little more complicated than we first thought.
By the way, I’d never be a hero. I like to imagine I would, but I know better. Instead, I’d probably be a fat shopkeeper in Gondor manning the walls, watching the heroes ride out to battle.
I can be the good guy in a book.
Reason # 3
I’m older and have lots of health issues. So, chances are I will never make it to Europe, never see the Scottish highlands, or play golf on a true link’s course. I won’t have a croissant and a coffee in a Paris cafe, travel to Rome or ski the Alps.
But, I can do all of that in books.
Reason # 4
I’m a husband and a father. My daughter is 13. I worry, I worry a lot about what the world will be like when she is my age.
I remember when we didn’t have cell phones or computers.
I want to believe the future will be better and that global warming will no longer be an issue someday.
I smile when I think of the Star Trek universe. Wouldn’t that be cool if it came to be?!?
When I read, I imagine a better future.
Reason # 5
A while back, I came across a post on Reddit. It posed a simple question to the men of the world.
Who do you talk to about your problems and feelings?
It was sad really because most of the men said they didn’t talk to anyone and added that nobody cared, anyway.
When I read, I’m not alone. Of late, I’ve been into Marian Keyes, who has a brand new book coming out.
At the moment, I’m reading Sushi for Beginners.
I love this book! I really do, but here’s the thing, it doesn’t really have a plot. Instead, it’s about three women living in Dublin and the problems they face in their life.
Yes, their life looks nothing like mine, but even so, no plot….
It’s nice, and it’s refreshing and reassuring to see that other people, even good-looking people with fabulous lifestyles, have the same issues you and I do.
I read for the connections.
Reason # 6
I read for the same reason I buy an occasional lottery ticket. Buying that ticket allows me to dream for a couple of days about what I would do if I won.
Reading a book allows me to imagine in the same way.
If you liked this, please follow me.
I’m a bit of a reject. I joined Medium 6 months ago and am about to be kicked out of the partner program, as I don’t yet have 100 followers.
I appreciate it and promise to follow you back.
My next post is going to be about death in the library.