Why Do We Love Books?

Lytton Strachey by Dora Carrington (1916) courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London

Miss Demeanor’s Question of the Week: Why Do We Love Books?

Keenan: I love books because they transport me from real life and give me a chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Susan: I love books because they reassure me that I’m not the only lunatic out there. I’ve found some of my best friends in books. (Jane Eyre comes to mind.) They comfort me, inspire me, teach me and show me the world. Recently I was reading Julia Philips novel, Disappearing Earth, which is set in Siberia, and I thought, I’m in Siberia!

Emilya: Well… yeah. I can’t imagine not reading. I don’t think more than a day has ever passed in my life after the age of 8 when I didn’t read for pleasure. Escapism, education, you name it, books do it for me. In that vein, I especially appreciate books written by authors from environments completely different from mine, whether it’s other countries, other genders, class, background, etc., etc.

Connie: “The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.” – Maltida by Roald Dahl

Tracee: I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read, so it is like food or water or sleep. I don’t think about why I need it, I just do. 

Michele: There are so many reasons I love books. The first reason is one I often told my children, which is, if you have a book with you, you are never lonely. I learned that as a young child with my own bookcase filled with Little Golden Books, which are still popular. (Look what I found as a recent example.) Another reason I love books is because they have the answer to whatever you are challenged by. When I was a new gardener, you would find me sitting in the dirt with a book on my lap, learning how much sun, what kind of dirt, etc., my plant needed. Google may provide an instant short answer to questions, but books give you so much more. And best of all, like Susan, I love being transplanted to a different time and place. The book I just finished writing takes place along The Wild Atlantic Way and is my way of returning the gift.

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