Blog Hop: Why I Read

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: What is your favorite part about reading a book? Figuring out the plot ahead of time, the feeling of the actual book itself, experiencing the plot unfold, getting to know the characters- or something else entirely?

Two things come most quickly to mind, and because they’ve both been expressed so well by other people, I think I’d better quote them…

“It is not true that we only have one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.” – S. I. Hiyakawa

I love entering the world of the novel and the mind of the characters, to experience something completely different from my normal life.  And that’s one reason I love fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction–the worlds are SO different and (with a couple exceptions) will never be places I can actually visit.  Scientific studies have found both that reading can increase empathy, and that the brain imprints vivid reading experiences similarly to the way it imprints memories of “real” events!

“We read to know we are not alone.” – C. S. Lewis

My first favorite thing was about discovering something new–and this second one is about finding something familiar.  It’s when you run across something that makes you realize that the author, a complete stranger who may have lived in a different country or a different century, is describing something you’ve thought or felt too.  So we’re not the only one who has felt it!

I think that’s why I write too, at least some of the time.  It’s to put ideas out there that I haven’t found in another book yet, or that I think should be told more often, because maybe someone else needs to find it too.

Well…that got deeper than I intended!  So–what’s your favorite part about reading?

7 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Why I Read

  1. Favourite part about reading a book? Not necessarily figuring out the plot — some books don’t have a plot to speak of, such as Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey — but the feeling of the book itself is high up on my hope-list: the language, insights into human nature, word-painting and so on. Getting to know the character(s) is ideal, but again not all fiction is character-led and can be as much about ideas as people.

    The ideal book for me is one that appeals to both heart and head, but all one or all the other is okay with me if the quality is very high to compensate for one=sidedness.

  2. Love both quotes….thanks for sharing.

    Fantastic answer. I love stopping by because you always have such good answers to the Blog Hop questions. Your answers are always so well thought out and expressed.

    I love to escape in a book. 🙂 And I definitely like to get connected to the characters. I miss them when I am done with a book that I loved.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

  3. dianem57

    I like to read to learn about other people’s lives and experiences, both real (biographies and memoirs) and fictional. It’s interesting to find out more about how other people live in the world and how they approach it. It makes me grateful for the life I have because the characters in the books ALWAYS have much more drama in their lives than I do. Without that, there wouldn’t be a story to tell. 🙂

  4. Wow, there’s so much, Cheryl, and I’m not sure I’m awake enough to think about them! lol

    I love everything about the experience: the look and feel of a book, the cover, the title, the approach…discovering the voice of the author and the story, the new characters to “meet” or vicariously “inhabit,” the world/place the story is set in, whether real or fantasy—the experiences and emotions I, as a reader, get to experience and feel, too. I love the quietness (typically) of the experience itself, and the activity of our imagination the whole time. I adore words and the english language. I love reading them when they’re well-written, writing them and playing with them ’til I get them “right.” I love the effects stories can have on us from when we were children on through adulthood. Words, images (illustrations) and books can be very powerful things and I can’t imagine my life without them. Well, I can, but I would hate it!

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