To Read, Or Not to Read.

Receiving book advice from Dr. Seuss. He's no doctor, but he's right! | Photo by
Receiving book advice from Dr. Seuss. He’s no doctor, but he’s right! | Photo by

My voracious appetite for books and reading has earned me a number of interrogative questions, especially by my relatives on how many books I’ve read, how many books do I buy at one given time, and how is it that I can go for long periods reading and not falling asleep. Because many people I know read non-fiction or biographies of their favourite idols while I usually and only ever read fiction. Whether it’s science-fiction, fantasy-fiction, literary fiction or even historical fiction, they are still fiction and the characters are not real. No doubt there are the facts if it was a historical fiction novel, but the entire plot is still a fictional one.

The most recent question I received was: “Why do I like reading so much?

Let’s put it this way. Reading is my way of escaping reality. Reality is as it is. Harsh, unfair, and often stressful. When I read, my mind, body and soul get transported into the book and everything travels with the characters and the plot. I empathise with my characters, suffering their pain, celebrating their happiness, and enjoying the entertainment that they provide. In other words, I rejoice with the author when he or she wrote the book. I become yet another character in the book, except that my character is more of a “fly on the wall”, watching and observing everything from afar. When I read, everything around me fades away, allowing me to synchronise my thoughts, feelings and emotions with the book in hand. Reading allows me to immerse myself with the events and happenings in the story. At the end of the day, reading allows me to handle stress better.

But what about others? Like my sister, for example. She reads just as much as I do, but because of her line of work, it limits the amount of free time she has, and she rarely is able to use it to read. I’m just as employed as she is, spending almost nine hours in the office, but when night falls, I’m able to put in a couple of chapters. Reading helps me sleep too. The storyline takes over my thoughts, sweeping other stressful matters under the carpet to be handled and settled at a later time and day. I read on week nights, I read on weekends, I read when I’m on holiday. Maybe that’s why people ask me all the time, how is it possible that a day has only 24 hours, yet I’m still able to find time to read.

So, to adhere to Dr. Seuss’ advice, I am indeed a book nut. There are other reasons why people read, and why should be reading. It’s a good habit to start with and a good habit to maintain.

Here are top 5 scientific reasons why people should read:

  1. Develops your verbal abilities
  2. Improves your focus and concentration
  3. Improves your imagination
  4. Improves your memory
  5. Reduces stress (that’s why I read)

*Sourced from: Why to Read.

Here are top 3 quirky reasons why people read:

  1. “Because it’s more effective than anti-depressants and cheaper than therapy.” – Michael E. on Facebook
  2. “To subdue the incessant monologue in my head.” – Alice B. on Facebook
  3. “Because T.V. is boring.” – Tisha H. on Facebook

*Sourced from: Read It Forward.

Question: What about you? Do you read as often as you hoped you would?

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