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Do and Don’t Read

I don’t read because I think it makes me sound cool.

I don’t read to learn new things.

I don’t read so I can say I’ve read it.

I don’t read because someone else tells me to.

I don’t read so I can seem smarter than everyone else.

I don’t read because the book has won awards or sold millions of copies.

I don’t read because whatever the book is about actually happened.

I don’t read to better understand complicated social issues.

I don’t read so I can run a book blog.

I don’t read so I can talk about books.

I don’t read so I can argue about whether the story was any good or not later.

I don’t.

I read because I need to.

I read because if I don’t I can’t stand hearing all the thoughts in my head screaming at me how starved they are for words.

I read because I’m lonely.

I read because I need to disappear. I need the world to disappear.

I read because the world is boring and I want to see something new.

I read because I want to see dragons.

I read because I need words.

Because I get book-hungry.

I don’t.

I devour books like a ravenous wolf.

I tear them apart and let them do the same to me.

I shout, I cry, I make strange faces that earn stares from the odd passerby.

I earn terrible library late fines.

I open the cover and climb inside so I can forget about the world.

I hike up a mountain of pages to find what book is waiting at the top, what forgotten secrets it holds.

I fall in love and let my heart be broken time after time.

I meet old friends and make new ones and throw others away because they betray my trust.

I climb mountains, feel the wind in my hair, race horses across green meadows where the shadows flicker from distant clouds,

I spend the night staring up at the stars peeking between the deep black sky with a red fire at my feet,

I feel the weight of a sword and the weight of a heavy book.

I dwell in a realm entirely my own, a bulwark of bookshelves the fortress walls, ignoring thrones of overstuffed chairs and sitting gemütlich on the floor.

I spend hour after hour alone. In a book. Sitting still.

Far away. In another world. I can’t say I ever really was alone.


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