Monday, 24 June 2013

Why do you read?

Okay, I know that sounds like a weird question, but it's one I've been thinking about recently. As I trawl through my favourite blogs and read your headings and profiles, one fact keeps appearing: we all seem to read to escape. There's even a Goodreads groups with a banner that reads like this: F**** this, I'm going to Narnia. (With a slight edit by me because that nasty word doesn't really form part of my vocabulary) But you get the picture.

So I ask, why do you read? 

Is it an escape from reality?

Are books more fun than TV? 
(Hell, yes)
 Although that said, after my father-in-law died last year, I went into a total slump and didn't touch a book for three months. (He was like my own father to me) So lost in grief, I  watched every episode of CSI New York, over and over and over again. Totally mindless. All those dead bodies . . . 
Sadly, his death also coincided with the launch of my first YA novel, Pledged. I lost interest in that too and ripped it off all the digital networks. The association with his death is still so great that I have shelved the project and am working on something completely different now. Grief does funny things to one.

But then that seems to be a pattern for me, because when my mom died I did nothing but play SIMS for a month. Day after day, night after night, I controlled my SIMS households. Maybe that's the key. In a world where I have little control over the big things, I had absolute control over them. Books didn't appeal to me because I could not control the outcome.

Are books more exciting than holidays to gorgeous sun-kissed beaches and other exotic locations? 
Apparently so, because everyone I know who reads always talks about the books they intend packing in their luggage.
Do they end they end up reading them though? I'm not sure. I know that I don't read when I'm actively engaged in an amazing new place. So maybe the holiday is the escape and I don't need my book friends? Fickle-hearted woman.

This was the view I saw every evening for a year while Andrew and I ran a luxury lodged in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Talk about being spoilt. And trust me, the pic needed no Photoshop.

Does reading help you cope with stress?
It should I guess, and that's where the inspiration for this post comes from . . . 
Let me tell you, moving house is pretty awful, but moving countries really sucks. My family and I are in the process of relocating to the UK, and that translates to stress in neon lights. So you'd think I'd want to read. I do, but I don't want books with stressful plotlines. I want books were everything is happy, everyone gets what they want, and no one suffers. Unfortunately, book writing 101 teaches that you have to put your characters through the wringer . . .  

That may explain why I'm reading three books at the moment (something I never do) because when  one gets too stressful, I immediately leap into another. That is also exhausting. Maybe I should just watch series. I believe Downton Abbey is good  . . . rescue me someone, please!

So now it's your turn. Why do you read? Leave me a comment and lets get a discussion going because I'd love to hear what drives you.


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