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Why I Read

Why do I read?
I just can’t help myself.
I read to learn and to grow, to laugh and to be motivated.
I read to understand things I’ve never been exposed to.
I read when I’m crabby, when I’ve just said monumentally dumb
things to the people I love.
I read for strength to help me when I feel broken, discouraged,
and afraid.
I read when I’m angry at the whole world.
I read when everything is going right.
I read to find hope.
I read because I’m made up not just of skin and bones, of sights,
feelings, and a deep need for chocolate, but I’m also made
up of words.
Words describe my thoughts and what’s hidden in my heart.
Words are alive—when I’ve found a story that I love, I read it
again and again, like playing a favorite song over and over.
Reading isn’t passive—I enter the story with the characters,
breathe their air, feel their frustrations, scream at them to
stop when they’re about to do something stupid, cry with
them, laugh with them.
Reading for me, is spending time with a friend.
A book is a friend.
You can never have too many.
Excerpted from Shelf Life: Stories by the Book,
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers