So I’m sitting here and I’m about to get up and leave and I don’t feel like working and I don’t feel like listening to music and I don’t want to go out and I have already worked/studied for today and I’ve already eaten and I don’t have a phone at the moment and there is nothing for me to do at all and I am thinking, What Shall I Do? and the answer in my brain is, I Know What I Shall Do, and what I shall do is Read.
And then I pick a book. And sometimes it’s entertaining. And sometimes it’s thought-provoking. And sometimes it makes me cry. And sometimes it makes me tired. And sometimes I learn stuff from the stuff I read.
I don’t think I read to escape. I don’t feel like I escape when I am reading – and generally whenever I want to escape a situation, I have difficulty reading. I can’t enter the text. Reading isn’t about escapism. I can care, and cry, and invest without being taken away from my life and the world I live in.
Is it about entertainment? Playing Monopoly is entertaining. Being on wotmania can be entertaining. Going out to see London is entertaining. Reading can be entertaining but you never know until you try. Even a reread is not going to guarantee me the kind of experience, the flavour of feeling, I am about to go through.
Do I love language? Well, yes. But I cannot tell you if I love language because I read or if I read because I love language. I don’t know which comes first.
(The reading comes first, and the language comes within.)
Anyway. Why do I read? Because there’s a hole in my head, and this is what I use to fill it. Because my soul is ever expandible and books help me push out the boundaries, as do so many other things. Because they are a delight, and a sadness, and an intelligence, and a torment and an anger and a love.
I read because I do.