So I was in a bookstore the other day. Most bookstores here also sell notebooks, pens and other school supplies, so since school starts soon, most students come by to get some things.
And that day it was no different, a group of about 5 people, not older than me were there, looking at different school supplies.
And then there was me, waiting in line with a stack of 6 books in my hands, and a pen (I needed a black one for a doodle.)
And of course I was instantly labeled as a nerd (which i am, and a proud one at that) and I was asked why do I like to read.
When I got home, I got time to think about that, and to ask myself: why do I read? Why do I spend hours reading a book that I like and yet if something I have to read for school it's 20 pages, I say it's too long?
So of course I had to think of a long answer in my head and I decided to write it here...
I realised that mostly everything I do is something that allows me to escape reality. Wether I'm creating a back story for a character, role-playing, writing, drawing, listening to music and reading, it's all done to escape reality, even if just for a little while.
Truth is, I enjoy being someone else. Away from my own thoughts, my problems, my family, my life. I love creating new characters, because it just gives me the opportunity to explore a new world, a new story, a new life. It lets me be that character, feel what he/she felt, and live that, and it can entertain me for hours, just thinking about that.
My teachers often complain that I daydream too much, and maybe I do. in class, I doodle, write (and it wasn't once when I was reading a novel in my Math or Chemistry class because I thought it was more interesting than the actual lesson). Some teachers realised that I do my job at the same time and that I am paying attention to them too, so they leave me alone. Others however are stubborn, because they don't understand.
And why would they?
I'm not that young myself, since everyone thinks that imagination is for kids, but I realised a long time ago that the adults are too preoccupied by daily problems to find time to daydream, to use their imagination. Sure, there are writers and artists, but most people just ignore that part of them that wants to explore the world. The part of them that desperately needs to run away from routine.
People often told me that I need to stop dreaming all day and that it's time for me to grow up. I don't know about them, but I don't want to. What is so good about "growing up" anyway? You become more boring, you suppress your imagination and focus on pointless things and eventually bore you to death.
I agree that being mature is important, because without that we'd all be just overgrown 5 year olds, but why is it necessary to give up imagination?
Who cares about my age, when I'll be 80 I'll still draw angels and vampires and dragons and I will write about them because I want to. Why should anyone tell me that I can't do that "because I'm too old"?
Back to the point now.
Reading is also a portal into someone else's mind. Into someone else's imagination and world. Where you have no control whatsoever and where things just happen, because that person wants it that way.
That's why I "waste" hours and hours at a time reading. To get away from everything. And when the book is finished, a small part of me still feels like it's still in the book, and it's so hard to fully return to reality.
I read for a million reasons, yet when I was asked why I read, I answered "Because I want to."