Why is reading so enjoyable?

Published on: Author: The Bookseller's Daughter Leave a comment

Something I wonder about sometimes, is why I like reading quite as much as I do. i don’t just like it a little bit, I see it as one of life’s greatest pleasures. And it’s worth thinking about why, although I’m pretty sure there is no definitive answer to this! It’s so often my activity of choice, or I’ll think of other activities in terms of ‘well that might be a long train journey but as least it’s time to read’. Or I get a sinking feeling when I realise I’ve left the house for a commute without a book to divert me. I also find it quite frustrating when I have sat down to read and find that for some reason I just can’t get into it, like a waste of reading time.

So what is it about reading that I like so much. Most obviously I suppose it is the stories, the worlds, the characters. Books draw you into storytelling in a way that other mediums just can’t do. I love that page-turner feeling, that I-literally-can’t-put-this-down sensation. Or when you think about the book in between sittings and it stays with you afterwards. Doubtless there have been many books (I’ve read a lot of books!) that I’ve put down and never thought of again, couldn’t even remember the storyline of now. But when a book leaves a lasting impressions – be that for an hour, week, year or lifetime it is something quite special. Some characters impress themselves so strongly on me it’s like I really know them, or that they somehow know me. The characters from the Tales or the Ortori are some that spring to mind instantly when I think about this.

© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC-BY-SA-3.0

But for me it’s not all about the story as I read a lot of non-fiction too. It’s also about the widening of scope and ideas. Basically I love reading for the learning – both from fact and fiction books. There is something fulfilling in the knowledge that you are doing something enjoyable and also gaining, well, knowledge. You can be transported to situations, real or otherwise, that are beyond the realm of your everyday experience and somehow gain a new element to yourself, a new building block of what makes you ‘you’. And for me, absorbing, growing and learning is what it’s all about. That and the dragons, I mean really it’s all just about the dragons.

So, reading. Books. Why do you enjoy them? What is it about reading that keeps you coming back for more. Let’s share some fellow bookishness, if you can tear yourself away from the pages that is.


Image: © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC-BY-SA-3.0

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