from VOX Journal Jar Group by wavemistress
Describe the role of reading in your life.
This is a really broad question that I think should be answered in parts:
1) Learning stuff
Maybe the most important reason to read is transmission of information from one brain to another. I feel it is the most efficient method, because it requires a symbiotic effort from both author and reader. You get more out of it because you have to give something to get it.
All my life the act of reading has been a way to add new ideas, to weigh old ones, and keep a large (and sometimes tactile) pile of what I think I know. The contents of the pile is ever changing, although I would like to think the total gets larger over time.
2) Building worlds and imagination
Another function of reading, for me, is pure escape from this world and submersion in another world. I devoured science fiction as a youth, and even now find few things as pleasurable as giving myself over to a good story. Movies compete in some ways, but I notice that the book is better. Always.
3) Conveying long talks
The virtue of an extended conversation cannot be overstated. Reading can sometimes be a way of connecting with people and events that spread over many years. Ideas develop, and understanding accumulates. I once corresponded with a friend for seven or eight years without seeing him in person. Receiving a letter then (before it all became internet) would make reading a highly anticipated and joyful activity. You can also re-read, whereas you could never re-converse.
Sometimes you just need to let it out. It isn’t pretty, but it is sure better than a physical expression of annoyance. People fight, sometimes loudly, in any situation, and the written word is no exception. A well-written smiting of the object of your annoyance, especially if it is cleverly concealed in plain sight, can also be a thing of beauty.
These days many hours of reading happen right here. I tend to think of it as play-time for grownups. Heard a good one lately?