I don’t have very profound reason why I started reading. I was just bored. And was just curious. But even so, I’m quite thankful that I picked a book and read. I think it changed me in many ways. Being bookworm did open many worlds. The stories I read. The characters I ended up loving. The emotional investment. All of it is just so fun! Reading is one those things that make you experience so many things at once. And because of that, reading for me became something more.
I don’t have any deeper reason on why I read, like I said above. Boredom pushed me to do it; so I decided to read and that was it. But for other people reading is more than just, well, reading. And the reason why they started reading is a story in itself. I find that fascinating that there are people who started reading because of different circumstances (far less trifling than I did). And for them reading is not just a hobby—it’s more, and I find that amazing.
I haven’t asked anyone why they read. I asked how they started reading. I asked what kind of books they’re reading. But wasn’t so curious to ask why made them read? But twice I’ve been reminded that perhaps there’s an interesting story behind the hobby (and maybe it’s even beyond that).
One of my favorite characters of all time, Kaneki Ken from Tokyo Ghoul is a bookworm. When he was young his father died. He doesn’t remember much about his father aside from he loved to read. His room was full of books and for him reading his books meant like a conversation. The books he left was like a dialogue with his father. Sentences meant more to him. It made him calm.
I wasn’t lonely anymore. When I was I reading I was completely consumed by the world inside the book.
— Natsuo (Domestic no Kanojo)
Another good example is Natsuo from Domestic no Kanojo. Like Kaneki, his parent, this time his mother died. For a child like him, at the beginning it was hard to cope. He shut himself & didn’t want to be reminded of his lost. But by reading books—even far advance for a kid like him—he found a new start. Opposite to what Kaneki thought of reading (which was a reminder of his father), Natsuo felt the comfort of being in a story and not to be prompted by sad memories anymore. In fact he now wanted to be an author. It is by reading that made him realized what he wanted to do in his life. So it made me think, that for some people in real life, books/stories are powerful not just mere tool to pass time.
But even though I don’t have super sad story to share, I understood why Natsuo & Kaneki started reading and why they still liked it. I think in a way authors are heroes. It is true that pen can be mightier than a sword. I think many were saved, touched in some ways or another just by reading.
So what about you? Why made you started reading? What is reading for you? Share your thoughts with me!