Help Us Build a List of the Top 20 Reasons to Read

Why do you read? To relax? To be entertained? To learn something?

There are so many reasons to read. We’re building a list of the Top 20 Reasons to Read, and we want to hear from you!

Leave a comment telling us why you read.

We’ll compile the most-cited reasons into our list and share it in the coming weeks.

Be sincere, creative, funny, informative . . . have fun with it, and happy reading!

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[Photo Credit: Goran Bogicevic/]

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Mona

    I read to … Learn, experience, escape, laugh, cry, be filled with emotion, to share with friends,. Can’t imagine not reading.

  • Chani Overli

    I read to enjoy. To live someone else’s life for a short while. To experience adventures, the live in times I will never actually live in. To explore. To grow. To see the world through a different set of eyes.

    • Chani, how lovely. You say it so well. I agree with you completely!

    • Pamela Hall Steinke

      What Chani said!
      Also I do like to learn about all kinds of different topics

  • Phyllis Nadeau Lemoine

    It soothes my soul. I love to explore new places, learn about different cultures, solve the mystery, shiver with fright, cry with the heartbreak.. and so much more. I have a deep seated need to read

  • Taboo1099

    I love how a book can take me away, immerse me in someone else’s life, or even a different world. Reading has been one of my greatest pleasures since I was a child, it’s my go to escape from the mundane.

    • Reading for escape is the best. I need a good escape book right now. Any suggestions?

      • Bonnie Franks

        Joyland by Stephen King. Easy read, short read, awesome. 🙂

      • Taboo1099

        So Many! Humor & suspense? Beth McMullen’s “Original Sin, A Sally Sin Adventure”; paranormal? Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone series or Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy; and for crime novels and oldie but a favorite, Caleb Carr’s ” The Alienist”

  • Carla

    I read to be able to travel back in time. To be able to be a courtier, or a lady in waiting, or even a fly on the wall. I read to keep my brain active (because with a 16 year old and an 8 year old it’s just too slovenly) and to keep my love of history alive. Reading is food for the brain and soul.

  • Shari Petrovich

    You learn something from almost everything you read and you may increase your vocabulary plus you get the enjoyment factor!

  • mizkatie51

    To forget the real world for a while and live in a world made by someone else.

  • Sarah McWilliams

    I read because I can’t NOT read. It’s my go-to activity for pleasure, for escape, for education, for relaxation.

  • Bonnie Franks

    I used to read to escape…as a teenager. Oh, yeah, and as a wife whose husband played pool. Oh, yeah, and as a mother of children. Oh, and to escape from my day job. Ohhhhhh….I get it. Escape is my answer.

  • Jen Forbus

    It all depends on what I choose to read. In the past month I’ve read to educate myself (The American Way of Poverty), to be entertained–and to find good reading for my niece (John Connolly’s The Creeps), to work (The Peerless Four, a book for review), and to relax (The Tilted World). I can’t go to sleep at night unless I’ve read at least a little. It’s a daily necessity.

    • I know just what you mean, Jen. I can’t fall asleep without reading first, either. Lately I’ve been making it for only about 3 minutes before I doze off, though. Sheesh.

    • techeditor

      Me, too, Jen. (“I can’t go to sleep at night unless I’ve read at least a little. It’s a daily necessity.”)

  • Elsa

    Oh where to begin….I read for just sheer joy of words on page, I read to escape the busy schedule, I love to learn about other people’s lives, I want to imagine myself in the story, I love getting lost in the plot and characters…I could go on but I think you get the picture. I love reading!

  • Jenn

    I read to escape the realities of the day and live through the stories, words, passion, fear, laughter provided within the pages of a book. Reading allows you to live vicariously through books and hopefully, apply the good stuff in your own reality.

  • Donna Shelley

    I’ve been an avid reader since I learned how to read. Books can be a wonderful escape from ones own reality,so when I read I’m in a different world. Reading stokes the imagination and carries one away to new possibilities.

  • Miriam Kahn

    I read to learn something new, to relax, and to disappear from stress in my life, at least for a while.

  • Janet

    I LOVE to read and read for just the enjoyment; but I also read so I can book talk to my students. They are more likely to take a book if I can give them an idea of what the book is about. Reading helps me when they say “I want a book like….” I can point them in the right direction. Needless to say I read a LOT of teen books to keep up with them –and I am really glad juvenile fiction is SO much better than it was when I was a kid.

  • oneluv201 .

    I love to read to escape all the trouble and forget the daily challenges. To get lost in a different life story and feel like u are in it.
    It also helps with writting better.

  • LostInABook

    I read to learn. I have an insatiable curiosity and reading is my go to place to learn everything! If something peaks my interest, the first thing I want to know is – Is there a book about it that I can read? Reading satisfies my unquenchable need to learn as much as I can about anything and everything!

  • TML Writes

    Reading books will open doors to the world. The reader only needs to chose which door they are walking through – travel, historical, memoir, romance and so many other choices, and every new book challenges the reader to open that door a little wider to meet whomever is inside.

  • Jane Sellman

    To travel, to learn, to escape. To become part of something bigger. To become part of a community. To be surprised, delighted, hooked. To laugh and cry. To find new words. To remove myself from the surroundings. To meet new people.

  • Sue Stone

    I read mostly to be entertained and to learn about different times and cultures. I love to lose myself in the story and share the feelings, fears and secrets of the characters!

  • snibaker

    I love to read stories that take place in the 1800s. It reminds me how different people were back then and allows me a break from the stresses of today’s world.

  • techeditor

    I read for several reasons, but one of them is to make me sleepy. When I’m not tired but have to get up early the next day, I read in bed.

  • Rae

    Through books I’ve traveled, loved, feared, learned, laughed, and cried. Strolling through the library or book store for me is like a fashionista in the worlds largest clothing store or mall. A well written book can completely remove me from this place and take me to another and it can replace the day I’m having with someone else’s. Books are portals allowing you to pick and choose your next adventure…

  • Robin

    I read because reading expands my horizons and takes me to times and places I could not otherwise visit.

  • goldensanti

    Isn’t it amazing.
    There is just something about words. A million words can come together and feel so alive. Words leave such an impression, it is so interesting how they represent a voice. I love reading because I can experience someone else’s voice, how another person can paint a picture. And how it feels, when words really capture something poetic ; you feel it, and those same words that come to life as you read them, make you feel just as alive. And we all connect through words.
    Isn’t it amazing.

  • Pauline Brady

    reading is one of the best destressers i use daily for a healthier mind and all over well being. i was introduced to reading as a infant and have done the same with my children as they are now with their children.

  • hdbowden

    There are so very many reasons why I read that to list them all would require more time than I currently have available and probably more time than you’re willing to invest to see my reasons! However, I will list a few main ones: for intellectual stimulation, for pleasure, for escape, for knowledge, for travel in my mind, and to learn about places I may want to visit physically, for conversational topics, for understanding views and beliefs contradictory to my own, and many, many more!

  • Jack Grimes

    It is relaxing, informative and insightful. I read every night before I go to sleep. Works like a charm for restorative sleep- depending on the subject matter, of course!

  • I read to just escape everyday ruts. I can be transported anywhere I want to go, just buy opening a book.

  • Joyce

    Since I was a very young child ( I was reading my older sisters’ school books before I started school), I have used reading as a mental escape, to travel in my mind.
    No matter the type of book,fact based or fiction, good or bad, humourous or suspenseful- they are always set in another place, another time.
    You can create mental movies in your mind..without anyone else’s input.

  • shelly

    its how you learn what you don’t know,its a great stress releaver

  • Penelope

    I can go places, meet people and share in a culture when I want to. It is a love of mine to read. I share C. S. Lewis’s quote as if it were mine: “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

  • Cheryl Bowman

    I must admit I often read to escape into my own little world. Or rather someone else’s world. A world which is in another time or place. I once missed my flight at the airport because I was engrossed in a book! I also read so that i can pass on some of the books that are piled in every room, waiting to be read. I just can’t think of a better way to spend my free time!

  • Karen Cable

    I read because I have to, reading takes me anywhere I choose to go, back in time, into the future. I can be shockingly insane or boringly normal. I can be a genius or an idiot. Reading opens the mind to all possibility. I don’t remember a day that I have failed to read something and I hope it will always be so.

  • Brooke

    I read to enter into someone else’s imagination.

  • BevL

    I have been reading a lot since long before I started school.
    I love starting a book, and escaping into another world.
    Even when I am not enjoying the story, I am still travelling in my mind, so I always finish a book once started.
    Even the worse written books take you somewhere different, and into someone else’s view of life.

  • Misskit

    You can go anywhere and do anything, have any experiences, eat any foods, accomplish greats feats during any time period while curled up in your favorite chair with a warm blanket, cup of coffee and your snoring puppy.

  • Sayluhvee

    Escape, entertainment, information, education…and for the occasional experience of words put together so beautifully that I get a lump in my throat

  • anm_1986

    I read for many reasons, but I think the main one is that I find myself, and when I read. When life is too hectic (which happens way too often) and I am restless and uncertain, reading pulls me back together. It may sound odd, because a story can make me go through all emotions possible, and I almost always suffer from the notorious book-hangover, but I always regard books as my friends. I trust them to take me as I am. I simply feel at home, and like me, when I read.

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