Amazing Kids! Magazine

Five Reasons I Read

By Fatima Yousuf, Money Smarts Editor and Contributing Writer


1) To open new doors

Books contain all sorts of information that have encouraged me to pursue new fields. Although I never really had an interest in political theory or philosophy, once I read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, I became intrigued and enamored by the superior reasoning and vastly different worldviews promoted by the likes of Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Books expose you to new worldviews and new questions that you never really cared to think about before, and can help you explore new interests and callings.

2) To briefly live in different time periods and worlds

Despite never having experienced the harsh situation in Afghanistan, I still remember feeling frightened to death when bombs destroyed Laila’s home in A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I remember feeling enthralled at the prospect of exploring new dimensions and universes in A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I can still remember and envision the pure American West based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of it in her Little House on the Prairie series. Books can make new worlds come to reality and expose us to new cultures and ways of life.

3) To join a community

Books have a special way of connecting people across borders. After reading the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, I remember complaining alongside my classmates at how Caleb never should have betrayed his sister. In fact, there is an entire website, Pottermore, dedicated to discussing the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, where you can determine which Hogwarts house you belong to and read interviews with the author. Whether it be with friends at school or book clubs with community members you hardly know, reading has a way of uniting people under the same struggles and triumphs that our favorite literary characters experience.

4) To relive memories regardless of time

I still remember reading the Harry Potter books for the first time and convincing myself that I would certainly receive my letter to Hogwarts when I turned 11. While I, sadly, have never received such a letter, books are timeless stories that can bring up memories of our past selves and how much we have developed since then. Whether it was crying after Charlotte’s death in Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White or rooting for Matilda standing up to Ms. Trunchbull in Matilda, books serve as memories that have stayed with me throughout my years.

5) To learn more about myself

Books don’t just explore the development of imaginary characters. They force you to question what you would have done in the character’s situation; they beg you to make hard decisions and reveal more insight as to what you value and where you stand in the world. I remember reading 1983 by George Orwell and questioning whether or not I would stand up to tyranny or be complacent. I remember reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding and wondering whether or not I would always hold on to the strict ethics of civilization, to become savage if given the chance. Books have a way of making us question ourselves and learning more about ourselves from our answers.