The other day I began to wonder why it is that I read. Why do I move on to the next book after finishing the last? What is it that keeps pulling me forward, giving me the motivation to continue reading book after book. Do I read to obtain facts, to become more culturally informed, to increase intelligence, or something else? I suppose at times some or all of those are reason enough. But I think what has really addicted me to reading is emotion.
When I think about my favorite books and why they became favorites, there is one thing they all have in common: their ability to draw me in emotionally. The most powerful thing an author can do is invest me emotionally in his/her story. This is not only what gives me reason to keep reading but what makes a book a favorite. I want a book to make me feel; to give me joy when the characters feel joy, sorrow when they feel sorrow, terror when they feel terror. After I finish one book I pick up the next hoping to feel that emotional connection, hoping it will become my new favorite. Feeling and emotion remain long after the words have faded from memory. I don’t remember every little plot detail from my favorite novels, but I do remember how I felt as I read them. And that is why I read.
Why do you read?