Often, I feel about snow the same way I feel about traveling to the Antarctic. I'm fascinated by it, and could look at it endlessly (or read about it) but I don't want to be out it in it for very long. It's quite alright with me to have 3 panes of glass between me and the snow. To know that I can lie on the couch, put my book down, turn my head and stare at the flocked white velvet on the trees and still stay warm inside, with my books and my computer and the rest of the Christmas cookies. To be honest, I feel much the same way about traveling to, say, India. I'd rather read about it.
What things would you rather read about than do? I have lots, and I suspect most people do.
I'd rather read about spelunking, hot air balloon trips, long and arduous quests. I'd rather read about rites of passage, hard lessons learned, heroes.
I'd rather turn the pages breathlessly while someone else gets out of that tight spot, solves a mystery, lives through troubled times.
Reading may be for many reasons; one, of course, is education. We read in order to learn, to better ourselves, to gain useful information that we can apply to our own lives and circumstances. One is, obviously, pleasure. To lose yourself in another world, another time, another reality. To become someone else, if only for the short time we are lost in a book. To find out how we would react in the perilous or amusing or provocative situation our protagonist finds him or herself in.
Sometimes we just read for the pleasure of the writing, for the way words are put together, for the rhythm and the rightness that infuses each sentence. A description that brings something to life, as vividly seen as if it were in front of you. A metaphor that jolts an electric sparkle along your spine and leaves you breathless. An anecdote that leaves you smiling and nodding your head, or laughing so hard the page blurs before you.
We read to see if other people's ideas about the world and the way it works match up to ours. We read to inform our opinions. We read to block out daily life and procrastinate from that which desperately or not so desperately needs doing. Sometimes, perhaps, we read because we CANNOT do, and reading becomes our only way in or out into another perspective.
And sometimes, just maybe, we read because we CAN. What a marvel reading is! What a tribute to the abundance and LEISURE of our days. What a way to spend our time.
Glowing Candle, Frosting-Topped Birthday Wishes to courtesy!