Monday, July 8, 2013
Why Do We Read?
I recently read a book that asks the question Why do we read?
The author--through the voice of one of the characters--suggests that in literature, everything has a meaning. But it is the experiences in our own lives that shape what the meaning is and how it affects us.
Reading causes us to ask deep questions. Like what is the meaning of my life? Why am I where I am in life? Where will this path lead me? What is good and what is evil? What is love? What is my role in my life's story?
He suggests that as we read, we relate to the characters in such a way that we find the part of our lives or personality that parallels them, and we become them.
He says, "If we take these stories too literally, if we expect our personal lives to always end with a handsome prince, most of us will close our books with shattered dreams. Yet, on the other hand...if we don't take the meaning of those stories literally, if we treat these tales as simply entertainment, we miss the deepest, most life-shanging aspects of the stories. We miss the entire reason they exist." (The Rent Collector by Camron Wright)
I've always believed that reading is more than just entertainment. That by picking up a good book, I'm learning something about life, and more importantly, learning something about myself.
So that's the question. Why do we read?