The definition of Bibliophilic is very simple. It means the love of books and a bibliophile is someone who loves to read books. Classic right?

This article is dedicated to the uncountable people who have heard me talk on and on about books or who have spent a good 15 minutes talking to me while I was engrossed in a book before realizing I couldn’t even hear them (seriously though, don’t talk to me when I am reading). I have been a lover of books for as long as I can remember. From pestering my mom to buy me Sugar Girl and Enid Blyton and discovering my love for Chinua Achebe in primary 4, to staying awake all night so I can finish a Sydney Sheldon novel. My love for reading has had a long time to be explored and as I explore deeper, so does the list of reasons why I should read grow.

Remember those days when burying your nose in a book was considered boring and the book worms were regarded as nerds? Well, those days are mostly over. The majority have come to realize that the pros of reading books far outweigh the cons. Actually, there are no cons. If you think about the superior communication and comprehension skills of readers and the fact that your favourite TV series is probably a book I read six to nine years ago well, I think we can all agree that non-readers got the short end of the stick. So here are my reasons why everyone should be a book lover.

1)    Books are a great way to pass time: A good number of us never imagined that we would be stuck at home for a long period before Covid-19 struck. Well, it did, and then we realized that there are only so many movies we could watch. But the book lovers amongst us were not hit as hard because reading makes time fly. You would most likely start a book in the morning and only stop when you realize that the sun is setting and you haven’t even showered.

2)    Books make you knowledgeable: One big plus of being an avid reader is that you pick up random facts that you might never have come across. Almost every book you read opens new information to you and triggers you to research this information. You never know when it will come in handy.

3)    Books expand your vocabulary: This is very similar to the previous point; however, it is important enough to stand alone. The simple fact is that the more you read, the more words you discover and these words will find a way into your everyday vocabulary. This will surely improve your communication, writing and even comprehension skills. Never have I ever met a bibliophile who cannot articulate words properly. Plus, it gives you an edge in scrabble!

4)    Reading challenges your mindsets and viewpoints: Reading books most often puts you in the position of experiencing diverse angles to a person’s life. This also improves your analytical and critical thinking skills in analysing scenarios which you already had a rigid opinion. For instance, you had an opinion about a group of people and you fell in love with a character depicted in that light while reading a novel. You might be shocked to discover that life is in varying shades of grey. It might feel uncomfortable at times but it’s part of development, bask in it!

5)    Reading helps you travel easily: St Augustine once said, “the world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page”. There might be times when you are going through a lot and you just want to escape but there are no funds. Books are without a doubt the easiest way to travel to distant lands or even fantastical lands which do not exist. You get to experience many countries and cultures without ever leaving your bedroom. Simply get a good novel and activate your imagination.

6)    Books make you feel ALIVE: Personally, this is the sole reason why I find books interesting. I find it wonderful that a book can make me cry, laugh, be inspired, be angry, tranquil and entertained. Books can stop loneliness, can make you remember long-forgotten memories, help you forget when you need an escape from pain. You could read a book and experience pain that makes you grow. Reading can give you purpose, help you through difficulty and unlocks parts of yourself that you didn’t know existed. Reading is like a breath of fresh air. It can make you feel wonderful and wildly ALIVE!

I can boldly tell you that there is nothing more exhilarating than finishing a good book and just processing how it made you feel. Reading is my favourite thing in the whole world and there are no words to accurately describe how much joy it gives me. I can only share my thoughts on why you should love reading too because there is nothing else like it.

With love, from the unrepentant bibliophile.

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