Why I Love to Read
By Julian Moktar

I developed a love for reading at an early age. I once heard my mother tell a friend long ago that I more or less taught myself how to read when I was three or four years old. She used to read me stories and showed me words but I would just giggle and get playful. So Mum decided to leave reading aside till I got a little older. Then one day, she found me lying on the floor with a book, reading happily on my own! Because my mother liked to read, we had a good collection of books at home. It was only natural for me to pick up reading - folk tales and fairy tales, storybooks and even encyclopedias that spanned more than 20 volumes at times. I read my mother’s Foods of the World series; I read my brother's industrial arts textbook; I read all my school textbooks within a couple of months; and I even read and re-read the cereal box at breakfast. When we went out, I almost always had a book with me. A book to me was like what the phone is to kids nowadays. I had to be told to put it down and talk to the people we were with. As years passed, I didn't get as much time to read but I still take pleasure in settling down comfortably and spending an hour or more with a book or magazine when the opportunity arises. For me, reading is a doorway to multiple ways of thinking, of imagination, and knowledge. I may not be an expert in any particular subject but I know a little about a fairly wide range of subjects. Because of my avid reading, I can understand how a carburettor works and how to dismantle, reassemble and tune one! With a book I can travel to a different country, a different planet, or a different time. Unlike TV or film which engages mainly the eyes and ears, reading allows you the freedom to imagine characters with the freedom of your imagination instead. In short, reading is an excellent exercise for your mind. It relieves boredom, which can help avoid depression, and you can socialise with other readers by joining a reading or book club. More importantly, reading can be enjoyed at any age. So go on - pick up a book, a novel, a magazine and start reading again!