Why I Read

Someone recently said to me what a waste of time reading was. That they needed to actually ‘be doing something;’ like reading wasn’t an appreciable concept. I was stunned. And for someone who usually can find the words to construct an argument as to why reading is not (a waste of time), I said nothing. I can remember my enjoyment of reading since around the age of 10. I love everything about books. A new book especially; the new binding; the fresh smell; the untouched pages. The anticipation.

A doctor I used to work for used to call me Dr. Sutton. This was after years of working at the emergency practice. She was one of the top Emergency and Critical Care Physicians in the field; giving lectures to residents and interns all over the world; in fact she still is. I don’t state this information to gloat. I provide it because the only reason she called me by this name was because of how hard I worked, and read, and studied, and researched veterinary articles of which I had no idea of the words I was reading. But I did this over and over, and read medical dictionaries, in order to understand the language. And in doing so, I worked up the ranks, and apparently was ‘promoted’ this title, by this prestigious doctor- whom I still adore and am in touch with to this day.

I loved learning. I was fascinated with reading, and went back to finish my Bachelor’s. And a post-baccalaureate with three certifications; and finally a Master’s. Someone else recently told me ‘those are just pieces of paper!’ I truly was appalled. This was someone who had never attended college, and had told me the last time he read a book was in high school, so I guess I wasn’t all that surprised. I busted my ass getting both degrees, and all the certifications I received. I read, and read, and wrote papers, and gave presentations, and taught a classroom of 3rd graders for 4 months, and researched peer-reviewed articles (and examined and read all of them), and wrote and presented a thesis on child-traumatic stress in the urban classroom.

I read to learn. I read to understand. I read to research. I read because it takes my mind often from the chaos of the present, and provides for me a sanctity of which I cannot find without escaping into my books. They are in short my beautiful retreat. Whether at a bookstore or a library, I find solace in books. Never feel as though reading is a ‘waste of time.’ Your mind will always thank you.

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