Reading is an addiction.

Multiple varied books stacked on shelves

I actually have friends who don’t read books! I know, right?

Hard to believe but not everyone is into books. It isn’t in their DNA or something. So I began to wonder what is the attraction to reading; why do we read? It would be simpler to answer the question, ‘why don’t people read?’

I remember my first ‘reader’ at school. Dick and Jane and Nip and Fluff. “Run, Nip, run.” Oooh I am so glad things have changed since then, but the pleasure when I turned a page to a new set of words, the feel of the book and the smell I remember with fond nostalgia.

What is it about reading that gets us? What do we get out of it? There are the obvious payoffs; pleasure, entertainment, knowledge, escape, self improvement…

Beautiful writing paints an image; of a place we would love to see, of a person we would love to meet, of a situation or relationship we might want to share. We are able to lose ourselves in words on a page.

As writers we say we read so much to improve our own writing skills. This is a ploy, an excuse. We simply have a need to devour books.

Books on shelves in shop

Reading is an addiction. Fed by libraries and bookshops. Who can walk past a bookshop without stopping for a ‘quick’ browse? The scent as you enter, the sight of the beautifully designed covers, the feel of the books in your hands, and the blessed relief as you read those first passages. And libraries…the joy of knowing you can pick any book and take it home. Right. Now.

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