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As GA-members, Why Do We Read?


Rano

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As of late, some of you GA members may have noticed that I have been sharing some quotes about books, the value of reading in general, as well as some inspirational citations by famous and not so famous people as regards the value of books and reading in general, as personal “status updates.” As I happen upon these “quotes” in articles and books, as well as on the Internet – I’m an incurable bibliophile with an unquenchable thirst for a good narrative – I find myself getting excited by these literary nuggets I chance upon and will often wonder what the take of my fellow GA authors and readers would be when presented with these “wise sayings.” And that is the reason why I share it with whoever want to share it with me…

 

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On and off during this past week I have been mulling these quotes over in my mind, and then an idea struck me, took hold of me and swept me away. Just throwing out a citation or two, to you girls and guys, was just not satisfactory in the fullest sense of the word. Other thoughts started to pop up in my consciousness, and I thought, “Why not write a blog-entry about what’s milling around in my mind about the sheer pleasure and joy of reading?” and the end result is these very words you are reading right now, my first attempt to share something that is uppermost in my mind.

 

Everyone of us on this delightful GA-site, are readers in the true sense of the word, no matter what our personal motivations actually happen to be. Some of us are here for the mere sensual kicks we derive from reading a really good erotic story. Some of us are looking for kindred spirits to share our thoughts with, and some looking and desperately searching for community. Remember the wise old saying from the book of Proverbs, apparently written by the wisest king who ever lived (though I have my personal doubts about this one), but irrespective whether he was really the wisest or just promoted because of national pride by a small desert-dwelling group of people or not, he happened to jot down a very apt and wise saying, “Iron cuts iron, so does one person the personality of another…” And that’s what we are actually doing here at GA. We are busy forming and shaping one another through published stories, reviews, and at times plain wholesome bantering. Most of us have never set eyes on one another, but here we are: a group of dedicated authors and readers.

 

Have we ever sat down and really thought it through just why we are reading in general? Try it, and see what pop up in your individual minds.

 

I want to share with all of you who are reading this first blog-entry the reasons why Rano values reading so much. Some of you may agree with my take on this subject, while some will disagree. That’s also okay. But consider for a few moments the following:

 

For the shear pleasure thereof

 

To avoid boredom while maybe waiting for a bus or train

 

 

Waiting for someone to meet you for lunch at a local eatery

 

While waiting your turn in a queue (and here I have one of those very long rows in mind...)

 

 

One of few recreational practices that could transform you into a companionable conversationalist (obviously, depending on what it is you are reading and who you are conversing with.)

 

Books have the ability to rapture us to other spheres; marvelous strange worlds of sheer magic and marvel – all through an incredible, fanciful interaction of expressions that constitute extraordinary utterances.

 

 

I could add some more reasons, but then this entry may become too long, and the last thing I want to do is to bore anyone with this first entry... I’d rather have you share your personal insights as well.

 

You can learn so much from the sages of yore. As an example, consider the following witty remark that Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) jotted down. I actually wonder if he had ever considered that more than two and a half centuries later, people would still be able to read what he had to say, marvel over it, and even enjoy a good chuckle because of the wit locked in it. Here it is:

 

There was a time that books had an influence on the world, now the world is influencing what is written down in books.

 

Or this one by Joseph Addison (1672 – 1719):

 

Reading is for the mind what exercise is to the human body.

 

When asked what kind of person, in his opinion, is the most to be pitied, the philosopher-author, Benjamin Franklin replied: "People who on rainy days dislike reading."

 

Fellow bibliophiles and GA-members, if nothing else, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that amongst one another, we are in good company.

(artwork © Rano)

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  • Site Administrator

I read for escapism. I want to escape into a new world, one where I can imagine myself as part of the cast of the story -- either explicitly as one of the characters, or an extra that the author somehow failed to include.

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Well, said my new friend! Carry on sharing your heart and mind with us. We enrich each other. You have already enriched me with your generosity of spirit and clear mind.

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Yes, was thinking the same as Graeme. I read to escape and love that escape. Often it's a dangerous escape since the real world gets neglected in the process. But it's also to learn and to grow and to expand one's mind and thinking. It's a place of being influenced and influencing (if you write) and it's a place of infinite pleasures of unimaginable delights.

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