I have been asked this question enough times in my life to be bothered by it. Most times, I just get all prickly and silently bark ‘why the heck should you be concerned’ at the questioner while the audible quip is something more puerile and polite. I do not find it odd at all, for example, if someone who is knackered and at the threshold of being comatose, wills themselves to stay up a wee bit and read a couple of pages- so that if they die in their sleep reading is the last thing they did. Hyperbole eh?
Another common but equally witless query is ‘why so many books simultaneously? Huh? Come again please. We rotate clothes and food and even people (if we can)- and yet you want me to read the same book, at one go, without regard for how or what I feel at the moment? How naive can you be?
Then, there is the problem of content. Apparently, some people find it hard to wrap their heads around to the fact that Middle Eastern history, witches, reborn kings, lone- man demolition armies, Afghani housewives, serial killers, quirks of Gandhi, Indian elections, American democracy, second- chances romance; everything is worth a read. Of course it is, just depends on the disposition at the time of choice.
Now coming back to the question of why I read. I do not have or need a reason to do so. It is not for the need for information, or want of enlightenment or to further intellect or wisdom. I do so, because I enjoy it. Period.
Till next time,
P.S. – Now, if someone asks me why I am an obsessive book hoarder- there is a question I CAN answer. I attribute it to the trauma during my childhood where my parents enforced the thought upon me that reading anything other than school textbooks is an utter and almost complete waste of my time. Probably.