Foundations: To Read Or Not To Read – Read Because We Must

Why Do You Read?

by Vincent Mars

Woman Reading

I read because I want to live a thousand lives in one.

 I read because books help me forget my body, which I dislike.

I read because for the trees in the forest being fashioned into books is the equivalent of going to heaven.

I read so I can write.

I read because through books I can explore the world from my comfortable chair, without having to go out my door, which is a dangerous business.

I read because every book is a forgotten dream.

I read because in the age I live it’s impractical for me to ride a gryphon, or slay a dragon, or tickle a queen’s belly with a paintbrush – it’s only through books that I can do all these.

I read because from books I learn things about me that I have always knew I knew but that I could not remember on my own.

I read because the smell of ink on paper is the loveliest smell in the world.

I read because if I do not, I would not know that Aureliano saw ice for the first time in the gypsies’ tent, or that Roland burst his temples blowing his oliphant, or that Tyrion killed his father with a crossbow while the man sat on the privy, or that Brutus ran on the sword Strato held, or that Sydney Carton swapped places with Charles Darnay because he loved Lucie so much… [My favorite – Johan]

I read because in autumn I look through my window at the rustling leaves and wonder what they are whispering about.

I read because every book is a deep sigh, a regret its author could not sigh in any other way.

I read to learn things I do not really need to learn but which I like to boast with knowing, like the fact that Aldous Huxley was still a virgin at the age of 26.

I read because a book is more personal and more profound than a film can ever be.

I read because books tell me the names of all the girls and women with whom I had been secretly in love over the years, names that I had been unable to discover otherwise, because of cowardice, of unfavorable circumstances, or of romantic misfortunes…

I read because reading gives me hope. If books teach anything, then it’s this: those who keep trying eventually succeed.

(Republished from an older post. Abridged and slightly changed.)

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