Why Borie reads books

As a graduating senior, this is my last column for The Rambler, not just for the 2011-2012 school year, but forever. It’s been a great two years at The Rambler, and I’ve read some amazing (and not-so-amazing) books. Instead of doing the traditional thing, I’d like to take this time (our last together) to talk about why I read, and why book reviews are important.

From the time I was little, books have been my primary form of entertainment. Some people are drawn to games, some to music, and some to film, but while I enjoy all of these, printed word has always been my go-to. Books teach us, from our earliest days, how to live. We can live the greatest adventures through the words of others, without even leaving our own rooms. We can get through our own turmoil through the connections we feel and the examples we see in the books we read. We aren’t alone on this earth as long as we can relate to another person, however fictional or removed from us that person may be.

Personally, I have long believed in a varied diet of the written word—all genres appeal to me, if not equally, at least a bit. I even indulge in books that I consider to have no literary merit whatsoever—I consider them junk food for the soul and, much like the regular kind of junk food, enjoyable in their own way regardless of nutritional content. I believe that exposure to characters builds character, and so I believe that one of the best things we can do to broaden our horizons, not just as intellectuals but as human beings, is to read.

With this in mind, you may see why I feel the urge to proselytize. Like anyone full of fervor for an idea, I want to spread it. Talking about books, whether I liked or didn’t like them, and why—this is not only incredibly enjoyable on a personal level, it also helps me to feel as though I am leaving a mark on others, helping in some small way the society in which I live to better understand itself and to find the beauty and joy in the small things as I hope, someday, to commit completely to doing.

Reading for pleasure doesn’t have to involve turning off your brain. I prefer not to, and I don’t see why anyone should. So, please, if you haven’t agreed with me on anything else I’ve said in my two year tenure here—read. While you do, think about what you’re reading. You’ll grow, and your life will be so much richer for it.

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