I woke up this morning asking, “Why read?” and “Why do I like to read?” I started ticking of the reasons in my head and wanted to share them here. While there is much written about the merits of reading and importance of literacy on the academic and scholarly sides, I have my own personal reasons for why reading is so important.

So, Why Read? Here are my top 10 reasons:

1. Reading lets the imagination soar and creativity flourish. Stories come alive inside your head after reading a book, whether fiction or nonfiction.

2. Reading lets one escape the everyday problems and dramas. Reading can be a form of relaxation and escapism.

3. Reading isn’t always relaxing though. Some books will make the heart beat faster (passion, romance, fear, war, traumas, etc). But, reading is entertaining and has the ability to evoke all kinds of emotions.

4. Reading can be meditative and be beneficial for self-help and healing purposes.

5. Reading can be like therapy. There’s a whole field in bibliotherapy, the use of books and reading for personal growth, work and healing. For me, reading is therapy. When I have sadness or loneliness, I can always pick up a book and be relieved of mental anguish.

6. Reading allows the mind to flourish, brain cells to multiply, and the learning centers to strengthen. My brain just feels good after reading, especially after reading something that is educational or helps to increase my own personal knowledge. Isn’t it amazing to feel the brain stretch after reading and contemplating something outside of your normal span?

7. Reading is portable and flexible. You can take reading material wherever you go, no matter what form, newspaper, magazine, book, e-reader like the Kindle, audiobooks, and more.

8. Reading opens the doors to writing and the world of language. Words are a beautiful thing, can be so powerful, and can also be used for good or harm. Reading is historic and an historic act. From stone tablets to papyrus, to books to digital formats, reading has been with humanity for centuries.

9. Reading can be accomplished at any age, from the very young to the very old. For that reason, reading is like a best friend for life. Reading is with you anytime, all the time. There is nothing more touching that the act of sharing a book and reading a story to loved ones. Seeing children read with parents, grandparents, relatives or caretakers always warms my heart. To share a story with another person is sharing a gift. To see a child’s eyes widen in delight with a fantastic story or to watch a child learn for form letters and begin to read is like seeing humanity’s progress through the ages. For this reason, we must keep literacy, reading, and writing alive in our schools and within our families.

10. Reading is a gift, a renewable gift that can keep on giving. Reading brings people together. Reading enable learning and knowledge. Reading is a window into the vast world of information. Reading brings the past alive and colors the future ahead. Reading expands the horizons and allows for self-exploration and growth. Reading lets one travel the world in an armchair. Reading takes one places both imaginable and unimaginable. Reading is a door to understanding people and the world. Reading crosses geographical and social boundaries. Reading helps foster empathy, compassion and understanding. Reading can be a way towards peace and better communication. Reading is a multifaceted gift.

What are your top reasons for why reading matters? Post your thoughts on this blog or send me an email at greycatblog[at]gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Other essays and articles to ponder on why reading matters:

Join in on the ReBooWee movment and read a book a week! As ever, Happy Reading!

Read a Book a Week