I used to read about three books a week, sometimes as many as four. As a child and teen, I was a voracious reader, so into my books that the adults around me used to worry about me. “Why don’t you watch more TV like other kids?” they’d say. Yes, they actually wanted me to watch more TV because my obsession with books seemed so obsessive. TV was okay, but it never held a candle to my books.
My addiction to books lasted well into my thirties. But then along came the Internet, and before long, I no longer read three books a week, or even three books a month. Hell, these days I barely read three books a year.
I’m trying to get back into reading books again, and am rediscovering an old love of mine. Here are 13 good reasons why you should do the same.
My bookshelf at home.
- Books are cheap. You can go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and pick up used books for a buck or two each. Yard sales usually have books that are practically free or less than a dollar, and you never know what you might find. And of course, there are libraries, which carry current titles and all you pay is the cost of a library card. Some communities also have used bookstores, and in some of them you can trade titles you’ve read for ones you haven’t read and pay practically nothing.
- Nothing smells quite like a book. I’ve always loved the smell of books, and walking into a library is like walking into olfactory heaven. You can’t get that smell from your Kindle reader.
- Books can take you into other worlds. A good fiction book is like walking into another person’s life and living it for little while. If you find a book that grabs your attention and you can relate to the protagonist, in a way you actually become that character for awhile. Chances are, their life is a lot more interesting than yours. You can go places you will probably never go in real life and have adventures you will probably never actually experience.
- You can educate yourself. Anything you want to know or are interested in, there is a book about it. There’s no excuse to not educate yourself, with all the books out there you can read.
- Books are attractive. They look great on shelves or lying on tables, and are a great way to decorate a room and make yourself look smart at the same time.
- Books allow you to be left alone. If you’re in a public place, such as a bus, a waiting room, or in a park, if people see you reading a book, they will probably leave you alone and let you read.
- Books can start new friendships. Sometimes, if you’re reading a book in a public place, someone may ask what you’re reading. That can be a great conversation starter, and you never know — you may make a new friend that way.
- You can read a book anywhere. You don’t need to recharge it or have a special table for it or a place to plug it into the wall. You can lie in bed and read, lie on the floor and read, lie on the beach and read, or even lean back in the tub and read. You can’t generally go online comfortably (or safely) in these places.
- You don’t have to worry about the power going out, viruses, or crashes. As long as you have a lamp to read by, you can read a book anytime you want.
- You will always have something to talk about.
- People who read books are perceived as smart. Even if all you’re reading is the latest beach romance. The strangers around you don’t have to know that.
- Books can relax you. Whenever I settle down and start reading, it calms my nerves and I stop worrying about whatever’s bothering me. You can’t worry about your own troubles when you’re engrossed in a character’s life or a subject that fascinates you. Try not to read horror novels late at night though, if you want to sleep. If you want to sleep, read a dull book.
- You can never really get bored. If you enjoy reading, you can entertain, educate, or enlighten yourself anytime or any place.