Book Blogging Challenge, Day 9: Why I Love Books

Day 9 of the 15 Day Book Blogging Challenge, and my assignment is to tell you all why I blog about books.

Here’s the simple version: In case you couldn’t tell from the other eight days of this challenge, I love books.

Here’s the more complicated version: Love doesn’t even begin to cover it. I’m obsessed with books. It’s love, but it’s heady, unhealthy, needy, desperate stalker love. Books are pretty much all I think about on a regular basis (whether in a reader or writer capacity).

So I blog about books because I love books.

Here’s a more interesting question: WHY do I love books?

The short answer is books are magical, but that’s not a very thorough response, so let’s flesh it out. And let’s do that by making a list.

  1. Books were the first thing to touch my imagination. When I was a kid I had an active mind (still do), and books were the first way I had to channel that mental energy into something besides making mischief (idle hands are the devil’s workshop). Books grabbed a hold of my young mind and refused to let go, and I honestly believe that my mental and emotional development would have suffered greatly without them
  2. Books made me smarter. No question about it. Reading voraciously as a child gave me a natural grasp and understanding of the complex English language and an obnoxiously large vocabulary for someone my age. As a result I never struggled in school, except in math (numbers and I do not get along).The fact that books so prematurely activated/expanded my imagination meant that I was frequently bored in class, but I was almost never in over my head.
  3. Books provided me with a million imaginary friends when I didn’t have any real ones. I will be the first to admit that my middle school years were rough. I was a problem child. I was vicious and sarcastic and always in trouble (I think I was grounded for the entirety of seventh grade). I was antisocial and dismally unhappy and I took it out on my parents, who have somehow  managed to forgive me for what a terror I was. And I honestly think that taking refuge in books and fictional worlds was the only thing that kept me from getting into the kind of trouble that you don’t laugh about ten years later.
  4. Books taught me that the odds don’t matter. We’re all the unlikely hero of our own life story. And reading books about characters who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds gave me a kind of stubborn hope which made it possible for me to pursue things that I wanted, no matter how slim the chance of ultimate realization.
  5. Books told me the truth about the world when no one else would. Books will never lie to you. They’ll show you the world in all its beauty and all its ugliness when your parents and teachers and everyone else is still trying to protect you from it. Sex, drugs, death, money – I learned about all of it from books. Maybe too soon. Maybe not. In books, I’ve seen every little bit of evil there is. Some people think it makes me cynical. I think it makes me real.
  6. Books fed my sense of adventure. Nothing has given me greater wanderlust than reading. A book that captures a place or a period in time well can give you a hunger to experience it yourself that simply won’t be sated. Books made me want to travel. And travelling, I think, is one of the best things you can do in your life. And if you can’t afford to travel for real, books are the best way to travel vicariously.
  7. Books have kept me from being ignorant. The things I’ve learned from reading over the years astound me. I’ve learned countless tidbits about history, science, psychology and culture that I otherwise never would have known. Books have opened my eyes and expanded my horizons, and have kept me from dwelling exclusively in the middle-class American world I was born into. Books also keep me constantly aware of how much I don’t know. I’ve learned a lot, but there will always be more to learn and books will always be there to teach me.
  8. Books have kept me from thinking that I’m the only one of anything. There’s always a fictional character who’s been through what you’re going through. Who’s faced the same problems you’re facing. Someone else has been there. It’s a comforting thing to know.
  9. Books let me escape. Sometimes when I start to worry that the whole world – or my whole world – is falling apart, the only defense is to pick up a good book and hide between its pages for a while. This, besides bubble wrap, is the world’s cheapest form of therapy.
  10. Books made me want to write. And there is nothing more wonderful or more torturous than that compulsion.

I’m not sure what else there is to be said, so now it’s your turn. Why do you love books? There are many more reasons to besides the ones I’ve listed. Let’s hear them. I’m a pretty average university student. I’m studying English literature, theatre and creative writing. If I had time, I would also be studying French and history in an official capacity. Alas. I am not Hermione Granger and do not have a time-turner.


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