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What’s the point?

September 29, 2008

According to Wikipedia, these are the purposes of books:

Aside from the primary purpose of reading them, books are also used for other ends:

  • A book may be studied by students as the subject of a writing and analysis exercise in the form of a book report.
  • A book may be evaluated by a reader or professional writer to create a book review.
  • A book may be read by a group of people to use as a spark for social or academic discussion, as in a book club.
  • A book can be an artistic artifact; this is sometimes known as an artists’ book.
  • Books are sometimes used for their exterior appearance to decorate a room, such as a study.
  • I think that there are too many reasons to read to be able to list. It’s too personal. How can they limit the purposes of books to a measly six things? I read to escape or to experience things that I will never actually experience (I feel very confident in my skills as part of the crew on a three masted ship). Reading takes us to not only exotic places, but can give us a new perspective on a place we’ve lived all of our lives. In books, we meet incredible people and we get the chance to see different interactions than we are used to. We get inside the thoughts of people other than ourselves. Readers get to play with different points of view, both literally and figuratively.

    For me, reading has helped me shape the person I want to be. Yes, cheesy, I know, but when you grow up surrounding yourself with strong protagonists, it has as an effect. They say to choose friends that reflect the kind of person you are or the kind of person that you want to be. Doesn’t this apply to characters from books? They might not be real, but they can reflect values and character traits that we value as much as any real person we know. Additionally, it’s easier to really get to know a great character than a person because there aren’t boundaries, you are welcomed right into their thoughts. I’ve even occasionally mistaken a memory of a particularly vivid book for one of my own memories.

    Maybe decorate with books for the memories they hold, like hanging photographs, instead of just their exterior appearance.

    Why do you read? There has to be more of a point than just “to read” or any other superficial reason.

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