Reasons to read, reasons to write

 

Why people read?

For pure enjoyment and entertainment, for the pleasure of getting lost in a good story, following an intriguing plot

To escape daily life and take refuge in imaginary worlds and/or create one’s own

To foster imagination and look for stimulating ideas, encourage creativity

To improve oneself mentally or spiritually

To relax and unstress

To get a better understanding of people and life through characters and their stories

To cultivate oneself

To learn and get information

To gain a deeper knowledge of oneself

Because one cannot help it and has a sort of reading addiction

To overcome difficult moments

To learn how to write

To enjoy the physical pleasure of touching and smelling a book (this sounds perhaps outrageous, but as a child I enjoyed this terribly)

To get beyond the limits of one’s own limited life and gain a wider experience of the world

To focus and sharpen one’s thoughts

To understand how great minds work and learn from them

Why people write?

To express oneself and give voice to feelings, emotions, ideas

They have compelling stories to tell, characters they want to bring to life

Because they have an absolute urge to write, cannot think of their life without writing

To express one’s creativity

To become famous and see one’s own value recognized by others

It’s their dream job and want to make a living with it

To overcome a difficult time in life and find a new direction

To forget real life problems or pains

To create a fictional, imaginary world

To be remembered after death

To tell a message and to be useful to others

To let other people know one’s experiences

For a sense of play and become children again

To answer what one’s feels is a personal call

To be loved and admired by others

To remember and understand one’s own past

To get over psychological problems, a difficult childhood or loneliness feelings

In several cases the answers from the two lists almost overlap, the reasons behind reading and writing are basically the same or very similar. For example the pleasure to read a good story is mirrored by the pleasure to write a good story, the need to escape daily life can be expressed through reading or writing and both reading and writing can help to get a better understanding of themselves and others. A good number of people cannot even imagine a life without reading and/or writing.

But I think there are also important differences between readers and writers: not all readers are writers though I believe all writers are readers. Readers are stimulated by what they read but they can maintain a certain degree of passivity, readers can find a great pleasure in reading as writers can find a great pleasure in writing but writers also have to put in a considerable effort, an active commitment. So I see a correspondence and a strong relation between readers and writers but I feel that writers certainly go a full step forward. I feel in any case that people really need stories, they need to read them, listen to them or see them played, or otherwise imagine, make and create them. Even people who do not read or write or go to movies need stories, may they be only gossips about celebs, news from their friends, recounting from vacation and so on. I feel that the need for stories is really very basic in humans.

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