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Why I read

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IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
By Alex M. Eduque

The busier my days become, the less time I find I have to read. And when I talk about reading, I don’t mean scrolling through social media and reading captions of photos and posts. I am referring to opening a book (or magazine) and turning its pages – quality reading, as I like to put it. One of my guilty pleasures and favorite past times has always been the luxury of a lazy afternoon where I can plop down and enjoy a couple hours of leisurely reading. In the same way that I grew up loving and will always love bookstores – finding that I can get lost in them for hours – whether it be a novel, a non-fiction book, a magazine, a compilation of short stories, I have always found fascination in reading the writing of others, and a sense of fulfillment in being able to relate one way or another to whatever material it is I have in hand. It is much to my surprise then, as you can imagine, when people ask me why I would gladly pick staying home, and reading a book to end some days, versus a night out. And as I ponder over answering that very question, I thought about perhaps sharing my thoughts with all of you.

I read because I write. Reading exposes me to different styles of writing, composition, and narration of thought. I have always found it to be the easiest, and most organic way to expand ones’ vocabulary – learn new words, and immediately see how they are used in context. Reading expands a readers’ horizons – I find that it provides me with insight and ideas on topics to write on, while broadening my mind and perspective on certain ideas and topics. It teaches the reader not only to understand and respect, but also to appreciate and question alternative points of view.

I read because it provides me (albeit momentarily) an escape from the toxicity of the everyday world. Choosing to expose oneself to different genres showcase different aspects and sectors of this world. When placed in the context of present day, it most definitely provides an exit from the mundane redundancy of social media posts, tropes and pressures that plague our everyday lives. Reading provides depth and dimension to an otherwise certain thought process.

Reading, to me, and the words I come across ultimately feed my soul. As an avid writer, I see writing as an art – of coherently and succinctly piecing words together to get ones’ thoughts across – and reading, I find, is a way of respecting and thoroughly appreciating that art form. Perhaps this is why I have found myself enriched by reading in a much more substantial light as opposed to my earlier years. I always have a lesson, or at the very least a piece of new information to take with me every time I read. If only for that alone, we should make it a point to read (even just for a few minutes) every day. Then, we are assured that each day, we somehow substantiate our banks of knowledge by learning something new.

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