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Thread: Why do you read?
January 25th, 2005, 11:46 PM #1
Why do you read?
Not just genre stuff, but any fiction? What is it about fiction reading that draws you to do it, as opposed to watching TV, building something, taking a walk, or any of the other 101 things you might do with your discretionary time?
And while we're on the subject, how much time per week do you spend reading fiction?
January 26th, 2005, 12:16 PM #2
I guess I read because I'm addicted, frankly. Any time I have a spare moment, I read a page or two of whatever I have to hand. I always have a book with me. It'd be hard to count up the time I spend reading, probably on the order of 15-20 hours per week.
One thing I love about books, fiction & nonfiction both is that they anchor my thoughts. When I'm not reading, my brain tends to chase its tail round & round in circles, sometimes frustratingly. When I'm reading I can usually focus well enough that my brain settles down to just the one thing I'm doing. That's very relaxing. TV doesn't hold my attention that way at all.
I don't discriminate too much between reading fiction or reading nonfiction. I enjoy both and switch between them frequently, depending on my mood.
January 26th, 2005, 11:11 PM #3
Watching TV puts my brain in neutral. Reading, writing (and this forum) put my brain into overdrive. I've not only been reading a lot, I've also got a lot of audio books to pound through. So I'm booking about 10 hours a week during my commute with audio books. Makes the drive go by so much faster.
I've been drawn to fiction, particularly Fantasy, since I was a kid. I guess I was one of the few that made the leap from children's fantasy, to YA fantasy, to sci-fi and epic fantasy. It wasn't much of a stretch for me. I was reading during class while others were complaining they had to read.
January 27th, 2005, 10:09 AM #4
I'm a bit of a book junkie (even though most of it is non-fiction). I have bookcases overflowing all over the house. When I'm writing (which is most of the time these days), I find I'm not reading fiction - it's too distracting. I need to focus on my world and not play in somebody else's. Which is sad, because I love to read all of it! So when I'm between books I try to cram in as much reading as I can. When I finished Sabakushi last November I started Robin Hobb's Liveship series, and am almost done with the third book. Good thing too, as I've already started work on my next book and find myself torn between writing and wanting to use that time to read instead...
January 27th, 2005, 10:15 AM #5
It's just another form of entertainment and escape for me, and as I have a low attention span, I....
... Sorry, got distracted. Yea I read about 14-20 hours a week.
January 28th, 2005, 09:15 PM #6
That's a hard question to ask, Rad. It's kind of like asking, why do you breathe?
I think I read for all sorts of reasons, and what I read depends on what reason is paramount at any particular moment. Pleasure is at the top of the list, but what that means is pretty complex - I mean, I'd say I derived a lot pleasure from Kafka's Metamorphosis, when I read it when I was around 15, but it traumatised me so deeply I didn't touch Kafka again for another decade... I read to find things out (I read a lot of non fiction, especially history and criticism), to be intellectually stimulated, to be aesthetically challenged and excited, for fun, and sometimes good old escapism and wish fulfilment (that's a major reason I read Jane Austen - yes, I love Colin Firth doing the wet shirt thing...)
I've no idea how much time I spend a week, it probably varies wildly. But I probably read a book or two a week.