Why do you read books? What would life be like if you didn’t? For some of us it seems the perfect time to get to that stack of books we haven’t read yet, and how fortunate we are to even have such an abundance of books!

Gary Paulsen, award-winning American writer of coming-of-age stories, has created a list of why he reads books. Which ones can you relate to?

    • I just can’t help myself.
    • I read to learn and to grow, to laugh and to be motivated.
    • I read to understand things I’ve never been exposed to.
    • I read when I’m crabby, when I’ve just said monumentally dumb things to the people I love.
    • I read for strength to help me when I feel broken, discouraged, and afraid.
    • I read when I’m angry at the whole world.
    • I read when everything is going right.
    • I read to find hope.
    • I read because I’m made up not just of skin and bones, of sights, feelings, and a deep need for chocolate, but I’m also made up of words.
    • Words describe my thoughts and what’s hidden in my heart.
    • Words are alive–when I’ve found a story that I love, I read it again and again, like playing a favorite song over and over.
    • Reading isn’t passive–I enter the story with the characters, breathe their air, feel their frustrations, scream at them to stop when they’re about to do something stupid, cry with them, laugh with them.
    • Reading for me is spending time with a friend.
    • A book is a friend. You can never have too many.

–Gary Paulsen, from Shelf Life: Stories by the Book

For me, reading books revitalizes me. Reading supports my habit as a lifelong learner, and inspires me to keep writing novels. Nothing ignites my imagination more than reading a good story.

Why do you read books?

Love, Susan

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