Why Does One Read??? // A Discussion Bound to Make You Question Everything and Also Have an Existential Crisis

So obviously, bookworms love to read.

But has anyone ever questioned WHY? Why do we like to read? Why do we like to read certain genres? Why do we like to read anything??

I don’t know why I question things like this when I have more important things to do* and wonder about, like why there are only 24 hours in a day and why people don’t like to read and wHY PEOPLE DON’T LIKE MANGOES THEY’RE INNOCENT LITTLE FRUITS THAT DESERVE TO BE LOVED OMG.

But I mean, I’m really writing this post just to make you question YOURSELF and make you wonder why you actually read. It’s like asking why you walk??? Like you don’t know, you just DO IT. ® Nike

But I’m actually serious. Why do we like to read?? WHY IS THIS QUESTION SO HARD TO ANSWER.

Today I’ll list a few of the reasons why I think people read and then add in my opinion!! Because discussions are nothing but me talking about myself, you’re welcome.

*I know, sounds fake lol.

flowers

1. to escape

I think this is the MAIN reason that people read books and watch TV shows and play games.

It’s to escape this horrible life because WHY DO WE HAVE TO LIVE IN IT.

Image result for i hate this life gif

Somehow, it’s so much better to read about other problems than face our own? Or to just flee to another world where our personal issues don’t exist? I feel like a lot of bookworms are cowards… yikes.

There are just so many bad things happening today that we just want to escape from, and then there are personal problems that we don’t want to face, and reading helps with that. It allows us to travel to a whole new place and live another character’s life for a little.

And somehow, that’s so powerful and so addicting??

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2. because we love it??

I don’t know why you would read if you hated it???? Like what’s the purpose of doing something if you don’t enjoy it.

*cough cough cough HOMEWORK*

But see, we read books because we love to. Now I have no idea why love to read when it causes us so much pain and time and effort, but we just do???? It’s just so… cool. So great. So fantastic.

(Do you see a great plume of smoke rising in the distance? That’s me. Having an existential crisis. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO ANALYZE WHY I LIKE READING.)

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3. to read

Some people read books just to, like, read. Or say they read a certain amount of books.

I mean I’m totally one of those people who wants to read a lot of books so people will think I’m cool and great and “one of the fast readers omg!!”. I admit it shamelessly. I need to look good in front of the fans, after all.

Image result for funny hair flip gif

But I also feel like sometimes, reading just becomes a responsibility, especially for book bloggers or book reviewers. (My sweetest friend Marie actually wrote a discussion on this, which you should 100% read if you haven’t already!!)

Which leads me to my next reason…

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4. for fun! and enjoyment!

Okay so this rarely happens now because 1) I’m a salty & wrinkly old man who has started to hate more books, and 2) AUTHORS BREAK MY HEART AND MAKE ME CRY HOW IS THIS ENJOYABLE.

I remember those days when I was a wee smol child in kindergarten and first grade when I read so many small little chapter books* because it was just so much FUN and I LOVED it and I just had such a GREAT experience.

And now I knowingly put myself through torture when I read Victoria Schwab’s books and emotional manipulation when I read Marie Lu’s books and I just,,, ;LDJFALKSDFJALSKD.

WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF.

DO I HATE MY HEART.

DO I NOT SEE THAT IT’S BROKEN BEYOND REPAIR AND I’M JUST BREAKING IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

*Junie B. Jones, Cam Jansen, Rainbow Magic Fairy…

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5. it’s required

Okay so this doesn’t REEEEEEALLY count.

But if you have assigned reading for school or are given an ARC copy to read & review, you kind of HAVE to read it???

Or you could get a bad grade or never get sent ARCs by that publisher again, whatever.

flowers

6. the book sounds good

Look, sometimes the book sounds interesting and I JUST WANT TO READ IT OKAY. Would I want to read it if the book didn’t sound good??? NO.

Image result for it sounds good gif
i don’t like cats

This needs no elaboration what the heck why.

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7. it’s hyped

If a book is hyped and it interests me in the slightest way, I’ll probably read it. (I mean, probably a year later, but I’ll still read it.)

I’m fragile okay. I give into peer pressure easily.

Plus!! The bookish community is how I find about books anyways!! So yes, that means that if a book isn’t very hyped, I probably won’t read it. Which is bad. But I have no solution to this problem so I’ll just keep reading the hyped books.

(If anyone has some underrated YA book recs, I’ll definitely appreciate them!)

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ME

Personally, I read books to escape.

This is why I generally find fantasy books more enjoyable?? (I actually wrote a fantasy vs. contemporary discussion post, so make sure to check it out! #ihateselfpromo) Because contemporaries usually hit too close to home with my own problems. I relate TOO much.

(Or, like with The Hate U Give, I get FRUSTRATED AT STUPID ISSUES THAT SHOULDN’T BE HAPPENING and I just,, aj;ldkfjaslkdfa.)

Like really, why escape the real world only to go to another world that’s pretty much the same as ours??? I’d rather go to some place with MAGIC and WANDS and WIZARDS and WITCHES and LIGHTNING BOLT SCARS and, um, other non-Harry-Potter-related things.

Image result for harry potter magic gif

But then, there’s also just the pressure of reading books to read them. Either because they’re hyped or it’s required or it’s just something I need to do to hit the standard amount for a book blogger or reviewer.

A lot of the time, what keeps me reading is the fact that I have a Goodreads Reading Challenge and that I also set monthly goals for myself for a certain amount to read. I REALLY WANT TO HIT THAT GOAL so I just keep reading and reading, and not necessarily because I WANT to? (Especially because I feel so slumpy these days.)

So while I read books to escape (and also because the book sounds good), I also read… “just to read”. But that can’t be the case for everyone, so make sure to let me know why YOU read too!


shall we chat

do you read books? WHY? add to my list! why do you like to read? what do you read for? i’m genuinely interested in what y’all think. it’s a discussion after all! is your main reason for reading “to escape” like me? or is it something else?

P.S. sorry that this post is just so YUCKY, but nanowrimo is draining my ability to write coherent blog posts so this is the best you’ll get!!

sign off 2.0

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66 thoughts on “Why Does One Read??? // A Discussion Bound to Make You Question Everything and Also Have an Existential Crisis

  1. This is a very interesting topic you chose. Most people (and I know myself) proablaby don’t even question these types of things when they pick up a book or read an article. So I really commend you for typing up such a thought-provoking post that made me think. Good job!👏

    But anyway, to answer your question about why I like to read…well, I think it’s because I like to educate myself and broaden my vocabulary. Reading other people’s work really helps inspire me to write something creative for my own blog, and learn about different things that I may have never known about.😀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. There are so many reasons to read! Personally, I love reading to learn, and find new ideas. But I also love losing myself in new worlds, and forgetting my homework for a while!
    And of course, I also like keeping track of my Goodreads challenge and discovering new authors and characters.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I ❤ this post & can 100% relate to it. Especially because I have anxiety and would rather, y'know, not, I definitely read books for escapism. Also, one of the first comments, which has never happened, so… #proud 😂
    grace x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is kind of crazy, though. We submit ourselves to the will of author, become friends/enemies of characters we’ll never meet, learn to love a world that exists only in the imagination- we are the ones torturing ourselves.
    JUNIE B. JONES lol I never actually read that I grew up too fast. I think I was reading Harry Potter in first grade. 😛
    I feel like 99% of why I read is number 1. I guess in books like THUG you’re not really escaping? but it still gives you a hope for a better world. Same thing with fantasies, yeah? The worlds have problems but there’s so many other elements that that isn’t what you focus on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. MAY WHEN DID YOU POST THIS,,, WHY DO YOU POST WITHOUT TELLING ME,,, YOU KNOW I DON’T GO ON WORDPRESS EXCEPT TO READ MY FRIEND’S POSTS AND TO WRITE MY OWN

    I READ BOOKS yes. I like to read because of all the reasons you listed! Did you expect me to make my own??? YOU KNOW I AM AN UNORIGINAL POTATO stop expecting things from me May.

    DUDE I read literally so much in the beginning of this year bc I was so Stressed (TM) and I just released from life or something. I read like, 14 books each month?? HOW DID I DO THAT?? i DON’T KNOW.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lolol that white chicks gif was perfection. I think I read just to escape a bit? I just think it’s fun. Like watching a movie or a tv show. It takes longer but has the same effect, if not more in depth. IT IS HARD TO ANALYZE WHY YOU READ. You’re so right on that lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This was an interesting list and I couldn’t agree that reading to escape is definitely one of my main reasons for doing it! I also love reading to improve my own writing style (as I write both fiction and nonfiction) and to learn more about the world because books can teach us so much about different cultures and people 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. do you read books? HMM I DONT KNOW MAY. Perhaps. Not like a run a Book blog or anything?

    WHY? BECAUSE I GET THIS GREAT FEELING WHEN I BUY THEM and feel very cool. PLUS IT’S SUPER FUN and I like to fangirl and feel all the things. Obviously. Also because I like to torture you with pics of my dog-eared pages. ALSO BECAUSE it’s fun and I need something to do in my life. Also because I’m kinda addicted.

    add to my list! FANGIRLING?! WHY ISN’T THIS ON YOUR LIST! The aftermath of reading a book? THE BOOK HANGOVER? I live for this. But I will excuse you because NANOWRIMO IS TURNING US ALL INTO ONE GIANT TYPO HAHA.

    why do you like to read? EXCUSE ME I LOVE TO READ. Ar you trying to suggest what me and books have is ‘like’? LIKE YOU TRIED TO SUGGEST NIKO WAS NOT THE LOVE OF MY LIFE when he obviously is.

    I READ FOR ENJOYMENT. Which loads of people find to hard to accept. Like once I had taken ONLY 4 books from the library and then I want to this shop afterwards and then the man was like ‘you studying?’ and I was like ‘no. I want to read these’ and he was like ‘wow’ and I’m so unhappy THAT IS PEOPLE’S REACTIONS TO BOOKWORMS.

    I’m genuinely interested in what y’all think –> i love your lies.

    YESSS TO ESCAPE And also to learn dark magic and self-defence from Inej and how to steal from Kaz Brekker and how to be bad-ass like Lilah Bard. SEE TO LEARN COOL STUFF FROM BOOKS AS WELL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • reading is fun until someone breaks your heart or messes with your mind like schwab and lu and bardugo AND NO DOGEARING

      DUDE THIS POST SUCKED I WAS WIPED FROM NANO UGH

      YOU HAVEN’T EVEN MET NIKO OH MY GOD

      dude that is so true. like i read bc i like to and not bc i’m forced to????? except sometimes i DON’T like reading,,,

      INEJJJJJJ KAZZZZ LILAAAA AGAHAHGAGA

      Like

  9. This is totally out of topic, but since you mentioned it at the end of your post… HOW IS NANO GOING?! I hope you’re having tons of fun writing and that you’ll want to share some snippets and stuff. I AM TOO CURIOUS and you’re a fantastic writer.
    Okay, onto the actual post, now, ahah.
    I think, just like you, my main reason to read is to escape. I love being able to read words on a page and basically just hallucinate for hours on end about characters, worlds and plot twists and such. It’s crazy, but it’s also really amazing. I love the powers of words, I love what writers can create with just the right words and atmosphere. It’s brilliant, really.I think I also read sometimes “because I have to”, well…because I’m a book blogger and some books have to be read, some challenges have to be met, I’m too curious of the hype and so on. There’s a certain pressure when we are book bloggers, one that we should forget anyway and just read BECAUSE IT IS QUITE COOL. (also thank you for linking to my post, you’re SO SWEET, this makes me so happy ❤ <3)
    GREAT post!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahahah, NaNo is going great!! Instead of going for 25K, I’m going for the full 50K now?! And yes, some snippets are coming soon! 😊

      And YESSSS, exactly! There’s something so powerful about books that just transports you to another place and that’s what I love so much about them.

      Yes, definitely! There’s lots of pressure on book reviewers or bloggers to read certain books, so sometimes I feel lile I HAVE to read a book — which sucks. But usually I end up liking it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. GOODREADS YES OMG. It’s honestly the biggest reason for making myself read even if I don’t want to?? I feel like I have to read just so that I can reach my numbers because I don’t want to fail! Plus, I was in like a 2 month reading slump (and read ONE book) so I’m super behind right now.
    Reading for escape is also a big reason, although I read mostly contemporary so it’s not always escaping as such. Enjoyment is a big one too (I’m saying this for everyone aha), although at times this can definitely shift as a book blogger because I find myself thinking of things I can mention in reviews.
    Loved this post May!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post May. 😀 For me the main reason I read is to escape, and I read a lot of fantasy so that may be obvious. I want to have adventures in other worlds without leaving my room, I want to forget my real-life problems for a few hours, and reading allows me to do that. Also hype is a major reason I pick up certain books, if someone says a book is incredible or the best thing they’ve read all year I want to experience the same magic for myself. 🙂
    I don’t do so well with required reading. Having to read books for my English GCSE and A Level classes in high school is a big reason why I now can’t stand the classic genre.
    I guess in the end I read for loads of different reasons, it all depends on what book I pick up, but I read because I love reading, because I can’t imagine my life if I wasn’t reading. 😀
    Again great post May. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I never really thought about this??? Like. . . I’ve always just read?? Sometimes I read to escape, but most times I’m just reading because I like it (I KNOW WHY DO I LIKE EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION AND TRAUMA?? IDK. . .) and I think that books are the most beautiful things (apart from cakes. . . *begrudgingly adds* . . . and mangoes. And I guess I like books because they are 1) fun (whereas my life is pretty average) and 2) I LIKE THEM BECAUSE THEY GIVE ME THE ESCAPE. idkkk MAYYYY WHY YOU MAKING ME ASK MYSELF THESE DEEP QUESTIONS.

    I READ BC I READ AND BOOKS CONTROL MEEEEEEE. (this does not sound healthy #ohwell)

    Fabulous post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. OMG YAS THE JUNIE B. JONES + RAINBOW MAGIC + CAM JANSEN + TIARA CLUB (idk if you’ve read it but it’s kinda like Rainbow Magic but with princesses instead of fairies? yeeeahhh) I LOVED THEM SO MUCH WHEN I WAS YOUNGER. I used to really like reading books when I was a smol kid and I just read really quickly without any effort (teach me your skills, 7-year-old Chloe!!)
    Sometimes I feel pressured to read because of publication / blog tour dates? I don’t really enjoy reading as much as I did when I was younger. 😦
    ALSO I TOTALLY AGREE WITH POINT 1! Books = the best tools for escaping reality. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I READ JUNIE B. JONES + RAINBOW MAGIC + CAM JANSEN but not Tiara Club ahahaha. And yesss I read so fast when I was a child! (Or maybe that’s because books were shorter…) And ahaha yes, I feel pressured to read a lot of times, but maybe that’s a good thing so I don’t slump…?

      Like

  14. do you read books?
    um yes of course
    WHY? add to my list! why do you like to read?
    I read because I feel like it!! XD
    what do you read for?
    I read for myself
    wow those were boring answers to your question. I’m tired tho. Writing has drained everythinggg out of me.
    I LOVED JUNI B JONES AND CAM JANSEN

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I remember the days when I used to devour Rainbow Fairy books!! I loved them so much 😍 and it’s crazy to think about that the most horror I felt during that time in my life when reading was when Jack Frost and his goblins appeared. 😅 Now, compared to the emotional trauma I’ve endured reading the Six of Crows duology and other novels… *le sigh* The things we put ourselves through as readers! 🤣

    I found it so interesting that you mentioned you read books as an escape because I literally wrote about the same topic recently in a blog post — but I mentioned that I’m currently doing the exact opposite. As a kid, I definitely read to detach myself from reality, but now (well, I guess I’m still a kid, but a more mature version compared to the past 😇) I instead read to understand the world around me more. That’s why I’ve found myself suddenly reading more and more nonfiction books, and even when I read fantasy novels, I’m constantly comparing the world in the book with the world I live in. I guess it’s just a change in mentality I’ve had throughout these past few years where I’ve realized that life is pretty awesome, and I want to understand more of it. 😋 It doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to, once in a while, lose myself in a lovely book though.

    I loved this post so much! 😆❤️ Best of luck on nanowrimo! 😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • YESSS THOSE RAINBOW FAIRY BOOKS!!! I feel like I was destined to become a book review because I remember judging all the books for having the SAME SETUP EVERY TIME and I was an annoyed little fetus. 😂 And omgggg Six of Crows!!! 😭

      Omg that’s such an amazing perspective on reading and the world??? I never thought about it like that! I personally don’t like reading non-fiction because it bores me, but I definitely can see how it can bring you closer to the world! Wow that’s such a cool and mature mindset you have about reading (I think I read to escape because of all the stress in my life right now 😂😂).

      Liked by 1 person

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