Why do I read? Why do I write?

Since taking part in my university’s student led conference on the theme, ‘What do we read? Why do we read?’ at which I presented on the subject of dystopian literature and why we read it. I have been thinking about why I read, and write, and where the love for both came from.

brave 2

For me, I always wrote, I had a typewriter for Christmas at the age of 4 or 5 and absolutely loved it, and loved writing, later at the age of perhaps 12 I remember being at the word processor writing ‘books’ for my mum. I remember 2 prominently one called the GORDY’s about a chimera like race, with each letter representing a different animal, sadly I do not remember which animals. The other was a story about a group of teenagers camping on a river side cliff, one dies but is saved by the river goddess, only on the premise they return every anniversary and make a replacement sacrifice. Yeah, I may not have been the most normal of kids, but I loved to write, always.

Reading for pleasure, was also, always there, but the studying of literature, the deeper love of dissecting literature, getting more from it, that came later, I can almost pinpoint the moment.  At the age of 16, studying literature for my A-Levels, I first read Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ And I fell in love with reading, I realised that reading, and so writing, could be so much more, it could do so much. It could say so much more, it was not only an escape, a fantasy to go to, another world to inhabit. But it could inhabit my own world, the real world, and help me to question and learn and discover things I might never have thought of before.

handmaids

And so now I prepare to write my thesis on dystopian literature, because it is the literature that showed me there could be more, that I could question the world through writing. It is the writing I wish I could create. A way to challenge the world, to challenge the control and censorship all around us, to challenge religion and politics, and sometimes, that feels more important now, than ever.

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13 thoughts on “Why do I read? Why do I write?

    • Oh of course, plenty of trash, have touched in this in other posts. There are of course many reasons I love literature and to read. Sometimes a load of trash to take me away is all I want!

      • Hmm! So perhaps you can share with me some of your favourite all time trashy novels. And what would you consider trash? Something which is simply not written well or something blatantly 2D?

      • Yeah trash for me isn’t necessarily badly written, though Lord knows I’ve read enough of that. If I’m looking for trash it normally means I want something formulaic, an ‘it does what it says on the tin job.’ I love the Agent Pendergast series by Preston and Child, totally ludicrous modern day Southern states rip off of Sherlock Holmes. Totally silly, but I really enjoy reading them!

      • Ha yeah for me, trash would be the umpteenth copy of Dan Brown novels that are relatively amusing even if they are somewhat of a rip off. And obviously 50 Shades of Grey. The most amusing thing I’ve read in years! I just found it remarkably intriguing how I found myself attracted to Ana ha ha.

      • Wonder what that says about you?! Haha! Yeah I read those and I think they were so badly written, and the astonishment that anyone would find them erotic caused much hilarity for me!

      • Haha the sex scenes I didn’t find particularly erotic as you know, I’m not a crazy person who likes inflicting pain on someone for gratification lol. I just felt for her naivety. I’ve only read the first book though !

      • Yeah I can’t say there was a huge amount of growth and character development…lots more awful and unnecessary sex shoe horned in every other time? Yes. Narrative depth and character development? Less so…

      • I’ve tried both as a writer and reader. But not hugely into. Love Shakespeare… Cos Shakespeare. And Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry cos I am morbid and dark! But otherwise I don’t read much. I should try again, feel free to recommend!

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