Why Read Then?

Strange question to put on Goodreads, isn't it? We all love books and stories. Reading is a way of life.

Celebrating books at literary festivals and/or writing conferences is a lovely part of life too!

But it is easy to forget reading isn't a way of life for everyone. Books have to compete with other forms of entertainment for people's attention. Sadly, books don't always win.

I was deeply saddened once, when on a book stall with some other local authors, I heard someone walk by and loudly exclaim "I don't do books". Hmm... I wonder why that is? Nervousness about reading? Too many associations with bad experiences at school? I thought the comment was so sad, and I still think that.

I read to:-

1. Escape the world for a bit. (It is beyond me people don't latch on to this more. The great thing books are legal, they won't make you put on weight, or give you a hangover).

2. Be entertained in a way that suits me. I don't have to commit to reading for three hours at a time (though chance would be a fine thing!). If you're in the cinema and it's a long film, you really do have to love it otherwise you're in for a dull evening.

3. Discover different worlds in a way that I choose. I vary my reading. I'll read crime books for a while, then historical fiction, then short story collections etc. But I choose which worlds to explore and when and I like that.

What I don't want to see is books being seen as "elitist" or anything like that.

Happy reading, everyone!
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Published on February 08, 2020 12:54 Tags: getting-people-to-read, reading, why-i-read
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message 1: by Gill (last edited Feb 14, 2020 08:57AM) (new)

Gill James When I was a teacher I had many students who could read competently but didn't enjoy reading, At our local film club I met a lady who had a doctorate in biology but didn't enjoy reading fiction but obviously liked "story" as she was at the film club. It turns out that these people never get to the "ludic" reading stage i.e. they remain aware that they're decoding dark marks on a light background and never go to the film in the head. Interestingly all of my uni student were ludic readers - but then they were studying literature, creative writing and drama so were likely to be ludic readers. It's clearly not to do with intelligence but is it to do with how certain brains are wired or are there environmental factors at play?

message 2: by Allison (new)

Allison Symes Interesting thoughts, Gill. Environmental factors can come in - my mother loved books and passed that love on to me, for which I will always be grateful. Yet other family members read occasionally. Same environmental factors yet... I do wonder if a lack of confidence is behind some people's reluctance to engage with books.

message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim Bates Great post, Allison!! Thank you :)

message 4: by Allison (new)

Allison Symes Thanks, Jim!

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