“I think the reasons have transitioned with the pivotal parts of my life.”

Briar Leen

Welcome to our series “The Readers’ Diary”, we’re asking readers why they read and what does reading mean to them.

As readers increasingly share what they’re currently reading and plan to read on social media, we wanted to share more about the people behind each post.

Why do I read? When people ask, it is normally with a tone of incredulity. Like in today’s age of technology, the paperback I pull out of my bag sitting at the laundry is somehow offensive. I usually smile politely at those people and tell them a book is cheaper than therapy, to which they laugh nervously, unsure if I meant it as a joke. 

But in all seriousness, I think the reasons have transitioned with the pivotal parts of my life. As a young child in a single-parent household, I read to not feel alone. As a teenager in a competitive academic environment, I read to be the best. (I have you know I am a Winston Competition Champ in the Harry Potter division) 

As an adult, I read for three reasons. The first is the escape. Sometimes reality can be too much and there’s a beautiful, if temporary, release in being able to dive into other worlds. The other is cultural responsibility. There is more to African American History than slavery, MLK, and Barack Obama. I want to be able to accurately share, mourn, and celebrate that history. The final reason, I’m sure we all can relate to; I read because it is fun! Remember friends, “Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from…”-Malcolm X. 


– Briar Leen

Would you like to submit a diary entry?

Submit your answer to these questions – Why do you read and what does reading mean to you?  These questions are open to your interpretation and your submissions can be as long or as short as you’d like.

Please email your submissions to, put “The Readers Diary Submission” in the subject line and include your name and social media handles if you would like those published.

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