Why I Read

I like the way it feels to have the comforting weight of a book in my hands on the train and in my bed.

I like the way the thumb of my right hand pins the left page of my book in place while my third finger balances its spine and the others spread to cradle its word-worn wings.

I like tripping through tangled tales as sentences and similes grasp at my ankles like vines. Sometimes, they strike quickly, whipping my feet from the ground and lashing the air from my lungs. But often, they wait quietly, sleepily pulling me in to the parched, patient pages where they will bind me and keep me.

I like when the last words in each line of a poem fall in a different place on the page, leaving a meandering curve of thoughts that snake silently down the paper.

I like hearing sounds through someone else’s ears; seeing sights through someone else’s eyes; feeling hope and joy and fear through someone else’s heart.

I like pressing down corners of pages to mark the place of an unknown word to search for later or a perfect fragment to savour forever.

I like knowing that although what I am reading is not true, it is real.

But most of all, I like being someone else, somewhere else – even if it’s only for fifteen minutes while I eat lunch at my desk.

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