Why do I read?
That question seems to follow me around. It finds its way to me at school, where I'm trying to get in a few pages before the teacher starts speaking again. It flows out the mouths of my friends, my family. Why do I read?
There's no one simple answer to that. I can just say 'because it's fun' or 'because it kills some time' or anything like that. If people ask me that, I'll give them a very long answer about the wonders of reading. And that answer would have to be broken down into about four parts.
Part One - The Characters
I love meeting new people, especially ones I can relate to. I like making people smile. One of the very first things I will do when I meet someone is look for something to compliment them on. I enjoy seeing their faces light up.
I like people, but not all people. I do my best not to judge. Something I've realized, though, is that if you could truly see into someone's mind, you might find you have more in common with them than you thought. People so often try to make themselves look a certain way on the outside, when it doesn't reflect who they are on the inside at all.
When I read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, I was still iffy on reading about Sam. I'm not fond of the popular crowd, because I don't really agree with the people who are in it. Before you ask, yes, I have talked to them. It's not something I solely decided upon rank or status.
About two chapters in, I realized Sam wasn't as shallow as I thought she would be, and I grew to hope she would undergo a change. I didn't completely agree with everything she said or did, but I understood why she did them, because I read her every thought.
That's the funny thing about reading. You can go into a book wanting to despise a character, but it's especially difficult not to connect with someone when you've been inside their head. And, in the end, you'll be rooting for them to win.
Part Two - The Setting
When I go shopping for books, I love to look at books where the world is different. If you look at the genres I read, you'd see that most of them have things to do with otherworldly occurrences. Fantasy is filled with whole other worlds. Paranormal is based upon things that are magical and powerful and different. Dystopian is a world that's been pushed to the brink. Some of my favorite novels even deal with other planets and outer space!
I enjoy reading about places I can't go to. That's a part of the fun.
Part Three - The Relationships
I'm hopeless, hopeless romantic. Sure, I don't want a girl sobbing throughout the entire novel because her boyfriend broke up with her, but love is part of life.
Of course, it's not just romance I enjoy. I like it when characters have good parents, awesome siblings, great friends, and cute pets. Things that make the characters happy usually make the readers happy.
BUT it's not just the good relationships, either. Every good story needs a villain, right? I like the stories with kickbutt villains that are just iconic. Villains that are hard to beat and mysterious. Call me crazy, but my favorite villains are the ones that have dark pasts behind what they do. It's a deeper story then.
Part Four - The Ending
I think for a lot of people this is the worst part of the story. It's not for me, though. I actually enjoy the endings the most. I think that's because it's exciting for me to see how everything finally mashes together and becomes coherent.
Don't get me wrong, I am sad that the story is over, but the ending is so important. It's what everything builds up to. It tells whether the character's goals are met and if they failed or not. It lets us know if the story is over or if there will be a sequel. We either get a Happily Ever After or the rare It Was All For Nothing stories. And there's always the dreaded cliffhanger, too.
So, what do I like about reading? I like everything about reading.