I don't read books for you.
I read for me.
I read because I want to better understand the world and the people in it. To live a thousand lives rather than just the one I was born into.
I don't read to fit society's expectation of what an English major or a writer should be.
I don't read to have something to talk about at cocktail parties.
I don't read so other people will think I'm smart. I don't care what the literati thinks of me.
I don't read to make others feel bad about not having the time or resources to read.
I read to walk inside another person's skin, even if that person and their skin are fictional. I pick up a book because I often feel better between pages than I do staring into a screen. I carry books with me so I always have company. I take books to bed so I never sleep alone.
Because you cannot be alone when you have a whole world beside you, within you.
Books were there when I was growing up as an only child, longing for a sibling I would never get. Books were there when my parents screamed at each other in the kitchen, my hands over my ears, hoping they'd stop arguing soon. Books were there when friends found new friends and boys found other girls. They were there when I thought the monotony of life would turn my brain to scrambled eggs.
Books were there when my introverted nature got the best of me and I didn't want to go out on a Friday night. They were there when I was struck with insomnia and was up until 5am, knowing I had to go to work in a few short hours. They were there when I found a friend who loved books as much as I did and we could read together, or spend an afternoon at a bookstore running our fingers over the spines.
Books have been there at every pivotal turn, and at every common day. I am books and they are me. Reading is who I am.
I don't read for you.
I read for me.
This post was inspired by Jennifer King and her powerful manifesto about working out, "I Don't Do It For You." Check it out on her blog, Stellar Fashion & Fitness, where you'll find posts about health, body positivity, and fitness. You can also join Jennifer's Facebook group, Stellar Fit Fam, for motivation and community around these topics.
Share why you read in the comments below!