Here beginneth the first of a new series of posts here on my blog. I like to post reviews on Sundays and then something a bit more fun on a Thursday. Usually, that means a TBR, a wrap-up or a tag but I’ve decided to start posting Book Chats in which I discuss more general ideas about reading and literature. Today, I’m bringing you a post about the reasons I read and why I encourage others to do so.
 Reading Stimulates You
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good movie or television show but if I spend too much time on the sofa, staring at a TV screen, I get restless as hell. I get this intense urge to do something; to use my brain in some way. Yes, I’m still sitting on the sofa or in my bed, getting lost in a fictional world but the literary world is a lot more interactive and mentally stimulating.
 Reading Relaxes You
Yes, this is a complete contradiction of the previous reason but it’s still true. I can come home from work or a social event, get into bed all cosy but still be far too wired to sleep. Even reading one chapter can bring me back down and relax my mind enough so that I can drift off. I live by the ‘A Chapter A Night’ motto.
 Reading Helps You Escape
I’m sure I’m not the only one who uses reading as a form of escapism. When I’m having a particularly difficult day and I can’t be bothered with anyone or anything, picking up a book is the best thing I can do. A book transports you into another world and away from your problems, allowing you to forget about whatever is troubling you if even for a little while. I find reading to be a better form of escapism than television as it is more engaging, it’s easy to sit in front of a TV – staring at it but thinking about something else – whereas, a book is more demanding of your attention.
 Reading Is Versatile
You can read pretty much anywhere – at home, at work, on public transport, you name it! A book doesn’t require an internet connection or a battery charger. All it asks for is a dedicated reader.
 Reading Passes the Time
We all know the feeling: watching the seconds crawl by when we’re waiting for a particular time to grace us with its presence, perhaps to herald a particular occasion. One of my favourite things to do when I want time to pass by a little faster is read. I can get lost in another world and, the next thing I know, an hour has passed.
 Reading Educates You
Sometimes you don’t need to attend university or travel the world to cultivate knowledge, all you need to do is pick up a good book. I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge from my reading – be that about history, relationships, other civilisations – and a lot of it is information that I could not have acquired through academic study or visiting new places.
 Reading Inspires You
Reading inspires me to do more and do better. Sometimes I’ll be motivated to be like a character I’m reading about, other times I’ll aspire to get out and visit the locations talked about. At the very least, I’ve talked before about how reading about studious characters, like Hermione Granger, always sparks an urge to work hard in me.
 Reading Comforts You
This is probably my favourite thing about reading. There’s nothing more comforting than reading about someone going through the same struggles as you and knowing that you’re not alone – whether that be in issues of mental health, difficulties in relationships or even just an insignificant bugbear.
 Reading Helps You Find Others
I’ve made lots of friends through my love of reading – both in real life and online – and I find it an amazing way to meet people with similar interests to you. You can discuss the things you love and hate about literature and celebrate your similarities and differences. The reading community is a great one and I’m glad to be a part of it.
 Reading Helps You Find Yourself
Reading about different people, different places and different issues can help you to better understand yourself, your beliefs and your purpose in life. Following the life of a character you love can bring out the best in you while following the acts of a villain you hate can show you what you dislike about yourself or others and how you can strive to separate yourself from such behaviour. I’ve learned a lot about myself through my love of reading and I’m sure I will continue to do so throughout my life.
Do any of these reasons for reading resonate with you? What’s the main reason you read? Let me know in the comments below!