Journal Jar #31 – A Lifetime of Reading

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.

4) Venting

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.

5) Playing

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?

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3 Responses to Journal Jar #31 – A Lifetime of Reading

  1. jaklumen says:


    Thanks for jumping back in, Doug.

  2. Cimmorene says:

    Well said, Doug. I’m with Jak. Thanks for Jumping in again.

    • Doug says:

      I went back through my posts and found many had lost their “Journal Jar” tag. When I corrected that it biggified in the cloud. Cool!

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