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.
I was lucky growing up having parents that understood the importance of reading. Because of their diligence in reading to me and my brothers every night I was able to read for myself by the age of 4, and had moved on to my first chapter books by age 6. Each time I would finish the books I had I would beg my parents for a trip to the bookstore or library. They quickly learned that if they bought me books for vacation, they would have to hide them from me until we actually went on that trip. I would stay up until all hours reading. Around Jr. High though, the spark started to dwindle. I was struggling to find books I connected with and enjoyed. The whole YA genre wasn’t really a thing yet, and I hadn’t discovered my love of fantasy at the time. I enjoyed it when Shakespeare and Jane Austen were assigned in school and did enjoy reading classics. But nothing really made my heart beat faster, or made me get lost in my own imagination. Fortunately, all that changed in 2007 when a friend insisted I read Twilight. Say what you will about Twilight, I will always love it for reigniting my love of reading. After diving into the Twilight saga I found City of Bones, The Hunger Games, and then I finally read Harry Potter. A whole new world had opened for me. I started discovering some contemporary authors who wrote complex characters with deep emotions and I finally started to see myself in books. Goodreads became a thing, and then I was able to find recommendations from other like-minded readers. And finally, four and a half years ago I discovered the Bookstagram community, and my life changed for the better. All this background really helps me answer the simple yet so complex question: why do I read?
I read to get lost and then found again. To adventure to places that only exist in the imagination. To have experiences that would otherwise be unavailable to me. To connect with myself and others on a deeper level than I knew was possible. To learn about other cultures and see the beauty in everyone’s differences.
I read to live.
– Caren Barge
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 email@example.com, put “The Readers Diary Submission” in the subject line and include your name and social media handles if you would like those published.