How can I read that thing? It doesn’t even have pictures.
How many times have you heard that sentence? I have, a lot.
Well, here is something to pass along to your non-reader friends. We all have that kind of friends who never read and they just don’t get what means to be a reader, they disregard reading as a waste of time unless it is their work related books which they read for their own selfish benefits. Well, guess what non-readers, reading novels have benefits too.
I won’t list too many scientific reasons as to why you should read because I think reading is not something that you do because ‘science says so’ but I want you to read because you ‘want to’. The reasons that I will present before you are based on my experience of reading for nearly three years. I have developed in a way I thought was not possible for me and maybe if I can persuade you to pick up a book by the end of this post, I would have done my part.
I would write about three things:
- Scientific benefits of reading
- Why do I read and what got me into reading, and
- My Personal reasons why you should read
Scientific benefits of reading
It increases intelligence
It can boost your brain power
It may help fight Alzheimer’s disease
Reading is contagious
Well, that’s it for scientific reasons. I don’t know about other reasons but I vouch for the last point. Reading is contagious if you have the right friends to guide you in the right direction.
Why do I read and what got me into reading?
It all started in 2013, there was a boy named Rohit who liked to play his video games and used to do his homework on time. He read his Harry Potter once in a while and that was it. He hated reading because there were ‘no pictures’ and he just liked playing video games more than anything. He was okay at studies and liked to watch horror movies a lot, it didn’t scare him all that much but he like to watch them anyway because the sensation and the feeling, the aura that it gave him. He watched those movies with lights off and room closed, isolated from the world so that he might get scared because of the environment, that unfortunately didn’t happen. He was losing interest in watching the horror movies because they all looked like a rehashed version of cheap scares that he found in almost all of those movies. Then one day, he was browsing Amazon and he saw a book, it was called Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. Not intrigued by the cover but the title, he decided to search for the book to find what it exactly was. To his surprise, it was based on a True Story of a haunted house on 112 Ocean Avenue located on the south shore of Long Island, New York. It intrigued him so much that without thinking too much, he bought the book.
Then the day arrived, the book was in his hands and he started reading it and once he did, he could not stop. It was like a possessed entity was in the book and it was taking over him, day by day. He read it for three days and finished it. By the time he was done, he was scared, he experienced a thrill that he didn’t found in those horror movies, that detailed description of the demonic activities, those screams from the house, the scene where the house looked like a face looking at the Lutz family who made the mistake of living in it. It was something that hooked him on horror once again, and more importantly, into reading books.
That ladies and gentleman was the true story of how I started reading. I was mainly a Horror reading in the beginning and I didn’t read anything aside from Stephen King for more than a year and then I started to broaden my horizon and started reading other novels and here I am. Now, I read almost anything and everything that I can find and this development was not immediate but gradual.
Now, as to why do I read. There can be a couple of reasons for that, I will list some of the most important ones to me below:
- It’s fun. Okay, isn’t it obvious? Why do you do anything if not for fun and the sheer enjoyment you get out of it? (readers will understand, non-readers will, in time. You have a lot to learn my padawan)
- Stories and characters. The stories that I read in books are so distinct and so isolated from the ones that I have seen in movies that I am not surprised that most of the well-known movies are based on books. The stories that are created in books are unmatched by movies. Characters are also something that compliments a good story, because if a story does not have characters that you like, you wouldn’t feel immersed and would rather feel fragile.
- Universe. Books are not merely stories that exist in a fictional reality. They are a whole universe waiting to be explored. Why I say books are a universe is because it is as vast as a universe can be and as distinct as well. There are millions of different stories with different characters that are just waiting to be explored and more importantly, like a universe, these are almost infinite and expanding. You just lose yourself in the imagination of the writer and forget about your physical appearance. How many times have your teacher in school or college have told you to ‘stop daydreaming’? That’s what reading does, it transforms your mentality in someplace else, it is like an illusion, an illusion that you don’t want to come back from.
Why should you read?
So, now we come back to THE question, the reason that you, yes YOU, you the one who doesn’t read books is here.Why should you read? Let me counter a question with a question, answer it and be honest.
Why do you watch movies or TV shows? Do you like the screenplay or do you like the director or you just watch it because your favorite actor/actress is starring in it?
What happens when you watch those movies or TV shows? I don’t know what happens to you but I will give you a brief synopsis of what happens to me.
I get lost in the enchanted stories of those shows or movies and dissolve myself completely (like salt dissolves in water) into the acting, the direction, and the narration of those movies/TV shows. It becomes addictive, some shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter, and The Walking Dead are just a few examples of shows that I love and I feel like a character who exists in that universe and is watching their every move.
Does that happen to you too? Or something similar? Well, that’s precisely what happens when you read a book but, on a large scale.
You are not a third person when you read a book. You ARE a character in the book that you read. This is what distinguishes everything from reading. You are not merely spectating but you are a part of whatever is going on in the story that you are reading. You experience the feelings that the characters feel, you find similarities between you and them and you can relate to them. You cry, you laugh, you make friends and enemies. every time you pick a new book, you are transferred to a new universe, a new world that is yours for exploring and more you explore it more interesting it gets, page by page until everything turns to shite (say it in a British accent) and you are forced to fight your way out of it. You are either solving mysteries as Sherlock or trying to take the throne as Tyrion or doing countless things that you probably will never do in real life.And when you prosper, when you feel that victory or when you end up with your beloved character or get your heart broken by them, it is you.
Have you noticed that I am saying YOU a lot? Well, it is because it is you. When you read a book, you are either Tyrion or Celaena or Liesel or Daniel or an infinite number of characters that you read and want to be. You are not reading about them, you are transforming yourself into becoming one of them and experience the world through your own eyes when you have transformed yourself into someone else.
How to read?
I am including one additional topic so those of you who want to get into reading (and can’t) can get a good start. These are simple tips that I followed which got me into reading books and I hope can be helpful to you too.
- Your favorite genre? There are books on almost every single genre that you can possibly imagine. So, it comes down to what you like in other forms of entertainment. Do you like zombie shows or historical shows? Do you like horror movies or romantic movies? Pick up a book that is in your comfort zone so you won’t have too many problems getting into it. If I would have picked up historical fiction over horror for my first book, I might not have gotten into reading in the first place. So choose a book that complements your other favorite entertainments.
- Ask your bookworm friend. They will give you a heap of books to select from, don’t be afraid, choose one that is in your comfort zone.
- Develop a reading habit. You can not just read a few pages and call yourself a reader. You need to try and invest more time to reading than you do to other activities and you can also steal some time. Called a friend over and he is coming in 10 minutes? Read. Waiting for a phone call from your boyfriend/girlfriend? READ. Got a few minutes before the bus comes? READ. Stealing a few minutes every day to read can help you develop a reading habit and it won’t interfere with your other daily life activities (unless you become a bookworm of course, like I am, or your friends or that girl next door, hmmmm)
In the end, I would like to give you non-readers, my one final brief (it have been brief already right? right? no?) thought on reading.
Every time I read a book, I am with new characters in a new world of which I myself am a part of. To be something I can never be in real life, to do things I could never do in real life. I feel this every time I read a book and I would give anything to keep feeling this way for the rest of my life.