Books cover such a broad spectrum, it’s necessary to separate fiction from non-fiction which might be biography or information.
1) The first reason to read fiction is sheer fantasy.
There is a pleasure of being taken into another world and becoming engaged with the characters in the story. The challenge of trying to work out how they will deal with the problems that confront them is exciting.
2) Next, it’s a delightful way to pass the time.
Getting lost in a book is refreshing and can help the waiting for planes, buses, and trains. Sometimes just spending a hot summer’s day in the shade reading is more beneficial than struggling to ‘get on with life.’
3) Reading allows us inside the minds of other people.
We learn that others think differently from us and therefore deal with life’s events in a different way. This can give us insight into our nearest and dearest when they do things that completely baffle us.
4) The fourth aspect is the pleasure of the language used.
An experienced, competent writer offers structural constructions which resonate with the reader and leaves them thinking ‘that describes exactly what I’ve seen, what I’ve, felt so well’. The language doesn’t have to be complicated but offers something profound.
5) Observations and recognition of spoken language which develops characters also give pleasure to the reader.
So many times a reader might feel, ‘I’d noticed that but wouldn’t have thought to express it like that’.
6) Biographies allow us intimate insight into the lives of individuals we admire.
We can sympathize with their struggles with life, how they dealt with difficult situations and take pleasure in their successes.
7) Biographies also allow a little vicarious pleasure in finding out about another person’s life.
8) With other non-fiction, books are a way of gaining information which can lead us to further professional development when we read about the ideas and research of specialists.
Rather than go on a course, taking the time to read at our own pace, re-reading when necessary, we can learn so much about ourselves and about work we are involved in or interested in.
9) Reading is a simple way to find out information and broaden our understanding of subjects, people, facts, and events.
Working through different accounts of historical events gives us a much broader picture of the confusions of accounts for what happened because each spectator will have a different perspective. The interpretations of those views by later writers will add another twist to the story.
10) Finally, books are a resource.
Societies which burn or ban certain books, limit the freedom of their citizens.