When I am done writing at the end of a long day, I love to climb into bed with a handsome young man from Regency England, or perhaps a serial killer. Hold on! Perhaps I’d better explain before you misunderstand and the police come knocking on my door. I am talking about climbing into bed with a good book, one that will catch me up and sweep me away. There is nothing more relaxing than to read a book that makes you forget all the troubles of the day and transports you to another place and time. Once I start reading, and I am smack dab in the middle of a scene, I forget everything else. So I no longer care that the dog chewed the corner up my shoe, or that I have a dentist appointment in the morning. I get lost in that world the author created.
That is just one of the fabulous reasons that I read. Why else do I read, you ask? Well, I learn a lot from reading, too. Not only am I studying another author’s craft of weaving a story together, but there’s educational value in reading. I have benefitted from an author’s research. Like did you know that by the sixteenth century there were five distinct and time consuming steps to become legally married? A far cry from running off to Las Vegas to get hitched. But how did I learn this? In a book, of course! Some author had to do her research to make her story work. When I’m writing, I do some researching, too. Sure I make a lot of stuff up, like the FRU. But that’s fantasy and open to my imagination. Other things, however, require research, and I have learned incredible things researching for a book.
Okay, so far we have enjoyment, education and research. Any other reasons to read? Yes! When I read, I get to do things and go places I never thought I could. I have sailed through a rough storm in a tall clipper ship and escaped dragon hunters. Reading is like jumping off tall buildings, experiencing all the adrenaline with none of the real risk. Yup, I do all this from the safety of my bed.
And then there are all the fascinating characters in books. Now you know I love my hubby, but when I read about some really hot, sweet guy, well, love them, too. I have fallen in love over and over again with handsome cowboys, dashing English Earls, tough cops, sweet werewolf guy next door, sexy vampires…the list goes on and on. Every time I pick up a romance, I expect to fall in love with the hero. It is what the author hopes will happen to the readers who pick up their books. That’s why so many of you have written to me telling me Kylie should definitely pick Lucas, or that she absolutely has to pick Derek. Because you have fallen for one (or both) of them, too. You can fall as hard as you like for someone in a book, even someone dangerous. Someone tall, dark, handsome, with a troubled past, eyes so blue you get lost in them, arms that hold you….
Sorry, where was I? Oh, yes, my list of the five reasons why I read. Let’s recap: escapism, education, research, adventure, and hot guys. But wait there is one more reason. And it’s an important one, too. I read for encouragement/inspiration. I read to watch a character in a book deal with, and overcome the problems, stresses, and sometimes dangerous situations that life can plop on our doorsteps. And even if these dangerous situations aren’t likely to happen in real life, like running into rogue vampires, there are some regular humans who can be just as scary. And the point is, I read to see the best in human nature, or in some cases, supernatural nature. Most books have heroes and heroines, and most of these characters learn to deal with, and live life in a manner in which can inspire us. So there you have it, not five but six reasons why I read.
So tell me, why do you read?