One – Reading is for everyone. Okay, so you read one book by Dan Brown and you can’t handle the suspense, or decipher the intellectual gobbeldy-goop. I’d disagree with you when you said you didn’t enjoy it, but I wouldn’t judge you for it. Maybe you’ll say that means reading isn’t for you. Except there are millions of other books out there, all different. There’s one out there somewhere that’ll get you hooked. I know it.
Two – It’s fun and easy. You can claim that reading’s too much like hard work, but when you start reading you’ll realise it’s not. In fact, I feel more brain dead after a netflix binge than I do at the end of a book. Stick with it, the more you read the better your brain gets at it. Eventually, with perseverance and a little patience, you’ll forget to try. The story will come alive before your eyes.
Three – Reading’s like watching the film but better. Once the story comes to life, it’s just like you’re watching a film of your own imagination. Every part of the story looks exactly as you want it to. The haunted house can be as scary as you can bear. That field full of wild flowers can shine in the sun as bright as your imagination can muster. The guy who’s tall, dark and handsome looks just like you want him to. That works both ways, if it’s the beautiful female protagonist you’re going to fall for, she can be your idea of perfect.
Four – You’ll become an all round better person. You’ll be smarter, you’ll be more imaginative, it’ll bring out your inner romantic, it’ll expand your horizons, it’ll test your focus and concentration, keep your mind active and improve your memory. Your language skills will improve without you even noticing.
Five – Life lessons from people who know their stuff. I challenge you to find me an author who hasn’t drawn on their own life experiences in at least some small way while writing. Generally, the authors who write the best romances, write so well because they know their stuff. They’re insightful. Even if you’re reading a murder mystery, perhaps the only lesson you’ll learn is to keep your enemies close, or to avoid dark alleys late at night, but they’re lessons all the same.
Six – Comfort, a friend, hope. When I was a teenager, I found comfort in reading Jacqueline Wilson’s stories about characters whose lives somehow magically mirrored mine. Her characters felt the same things I did. They were upset about the same things and confused about the same things too. Her characters got happy endings, eventually I began to believe I could too.
Seven – Escapism. Quite simply, to escape. When you’re reading, when you’re fully absorbed, you’ll forget everything else. I’m the world’s biggest foodie and I’ve managed to block out tummy rumbles to get to the end of a chapter before.
Eight – They’ll make you laugh and they’ll make you cry. The same reason you stick on The Hangover, Beaches or Forest Gump. Stories make you feel things. Jane Eyre is one of my all time favourite books. Now that’s just me, but its because I went on an emotional journey when I read it. Perhaps also because I’m a sucker for a complicated love story.
Nine – Books don’t need charging. They never break or malfunction and they smell good too.
Ten – Reading is simply wonderful. If you’re lucky enough to have been educated well enough to allow you to pick up a book and read it, then you should. Not because if you don’t you’ll be taking your education for granted, but because reading is wonderful. Call me a geek if you like, I’ve heard that before, but I am a proud bookworm and you know why? Because I don’t know where I’d be without books and without the brilliant people who write them.