So Why Read Anyway?
As a preschooler, I hounded my mother to teach me how to read and have devoured a small library ever since. My appetite for learning was insatiable and books were the only source of information back in the olden days. Sure, I learned how to knit and plant a seed from my grandparents, but intellectual pursuits were in short supply at my house. Now, I rely on the internet for fact-finding missions, so books–especially novels–fulfill several other essential needs.
Escapism is the first one of those needs. Life hasn’t always been a picnic, so books have often been a viable respite from adversity when an actual trip wasn’t possible. A story well told has the power to transform my reality in a moment, to manipulate my emotions, to inspire, provoke, energize–really, you could fill in the blank here. And if the theme is particularly heavy, or a character is caught in a quagmire, it can even be therapeutic in that my perspective shifts and suddenly my situation seem like a cakewalk by comparison.
Which kind of leads to another reason for reading: enlightenment. Having always been a ‘seeker’ of meaningfulness, and having failed to find it where it’s typically supposed to be, the opportunity to study a myriad of philosophical and spiritual avenues has certainly broadened my horizons over the years. From Plato and Jesus to Marx and Nietzsche and countless others from then and now, it has been a fascinating journey into the quintessential question of: Why we are even here?
Ultimately though, reading is mostly about entertainment, with a slice of eavesdropping on the side. As a very curious (some might say nosey) person, I enjoy being a fly on the wall of someone else’s imagination. When a writer churns out their innermost thoughts for mass consumption, I embark on an intimate connection with a total stranger, as paradoxical as that may seem. I also get to be, go, and have otherwise unattainable persons, places, and things, respectively.
Anything is possible in a novel; the soul is unshackled and allowed to soar if the author has the gift of written gab. When that magic happens, a story well told is a portal to limitless knowledge, pleasure, and love. With all of these treasures there for the taking, why not read?
Looking for something new to read? Head over to our Brookstore to see what’s available!
Laura Vincent recently settled into retirement, doing a bit of writing, a lot of service and smelling the roses along the way. A plan is afoot to explore Europe on a Eurail Pass – one last great hurrah so to speak.
Favourite book: The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
Favourite brunch spot: Rocco Restaurant & Bar