Last week, I asked Why Do You Read, and this week we learn why… To sum up the results, I’d like to quote Blue Harvest Creative who pretty much hit the nail on the proverbial head
‘I read to learn, to experience, to feel, to escape, to immerse myself
…it’s something I have to do.’
This is why we read.
Thank you so much for all those who voted in the poll, I appreciated your time and responses. As an author it’s valuable to understand the reasons why people read. As writers we read much of the time we’re not writing, but sometimes we become so absorbed in our own little worlds, it’s good to remind ourselves of the motives readers have for indulging!
Before giving you the results, I’d like to comment on the ‘Other’ reasons almost 5% of you gave in the poll and you came up with some great reasons:
To maintain my sanity
Reading helps me hone my writing skills
Improve both my writing and reading skills
Research, to be a better writer!
It’s a de-stresser
Ideas! To discover new ideas and new perspectives!
I want to know everything…and…read every single book ever written!
I can attest to all of these, especially how reading improves both my writing and my sanity! As an author, I need to know my market, my subject, and what’s already out there – reading and research aids this. And to the final answer I replied: so many books so little time – the reader and writer lament!
So, to the results – Why Do You Read:
21% read to escape to another world
18% tell me it’s in their DNA, they have to
14% want to experience life they never can without reading books
10% desire to learn something new
9% read to elicit a strong emotion such as fear, joy, grief, or another emotion they might not otherwise experience
8% read to understand the world around them better, to learn about their surroundings
6% read to fill spare time
6% want to experience a different culture or life
5% give us the other reasons listed above
And our final 3% read for school and other education
In conclusion – the most popular answer is to escape…over a fifth of us choose to leave the world behind to escape into another world, to have an adventure, as our main reason for reading. I know many people chose multiple answers, and our reasons are varied and sometimes complicated, but the one most of us choose is to escape.
Reading offers a chance for our brains and our minds to breakout of the lives we lead, to indulge in fantasy, dreams, diversity and essentially time to let our minds catch up with our souls.
Thank you for sharing your reasons with me…
I read for escape, for emotion, for encounters that I cannot experience myself and I read to diversify my life. I want those highs and lows, I want to feel crushing pain and soaring joy – I want to know I’m alive!
I’ve included pictures of some of my favourite books – they have broadened my horizons, encouraged me, informed me, and helped me escape.
I’ve wandered through the Misty Mountains with Bilbo, I’ve raced across the ice fields with Lyra on the back of a polar bear, I’ve searched the library and the Old Kingdom with Lirael, I’ve sailed upon a surrealist ocean with Pi and his tiger, and I’ve been there when the dark rose. I’ve learned about the holocaust and survival, and wept, with both David and the boy in the striped pyjamas, I became what I was, I learned about the power of memories and colour from Lois Lowry, and Loser didn’t lose. I was delighted by the little Prince, and intrigued by the alphabet. I cried with Beth and loved with Jo. I was anorexic, I loved like no other, I had adventures with the Famous Five and I fell in love with silver brumbies. Books bring me home, they take me away, they let me live and love and when stars fall I know they can still shine!
This is why I read.
Tell me where books have taken you?