An Appreciation of Reading

“I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.” – Margaret Atwood

Appreciating reading was not something that came easily to me. I grew up in an environment where my family did not have much. We managed, but barely. I spent my youth learning how to barter for food from street vendors; I learned that reading books was something only done in school. I found myself associating the word reading with the word tiresome. I didn’t think that there was such a thing as pleasure reading.

Fast forward to my late teenage years, I found myself living in the United States, no longer fascinated by the daily banter with street vendors, I discovered something. Despite knowing only how to speak simple sentences in English, I was fascinated with books. I learned about the benefits of public libraries. It was in a small rural library that I came across the first novel I attempted to read, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. I read it alongside an Oxford English Language Dictionary. It took me two months to read, and that was when reading for pleasure began. Soon, I found myself reading the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the prose of Maya Angelou. I discovered Shakespeare, Harper Lee, Douglas Adams, and Oscar Wilde. I was in absolute literary heaven.

If you ask me today why I read, I read for the joy of reading; for the euphoria of learning something new; for the pleasure of gaining new perspectives. I read because I love it.

Why do you love to read?

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