Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why Do I Read? Why Do You Read? Why Do We All Read? (and the power of the Romanian Language)

Sometimes a simple comment just won't do it.  I must say more. I must talk about it further.  'In Response To' has been created for this purpose. 

Today's post is about a topic that concerns all of us bloggers, why we read. 

A Response To 'De Ce Citesc (translated: Why I Read?)' by Books and Coffee

I want to start by quoting the first paragraph of the post.  If you know Romanian, it will grab your attention immediately.  If you do not read Romanian, well you're out of luck... and you're missing out.... I am not skilled enough to translate Romanian good enough to fully express across exactly what has been written.  
 "Un pas usor, un gand timid, o soapta in aer se trimit in zbor de catre miile de cititori corupti de lumea fantastica a fiintelor de hartie. Se lasa purtati de cuvinte, patate de sentimentele intense ale autorilor, care creeaza in sufletul lectorului o mixtura de emotii. Iubesc sa devin creatorul unei lumi fictionale alaturi de autor, sa fiu una din persoanele care isi pot lasa amprenta alaturi de alti pasionati ai cartilor in universul pus la dispozitie de catre scriitor. "(taken from 'De Ce Citess? from Book and Coffee)
 I was immediately captured by the first paragraph (written above) in this post.  The whole post is written in Romanian, first of all.  I am Romanian by nationality, but I have lived in the U.S almost my whole life.  The amount of reading in Romanian that I have done since I have immigrated to the U.S. has been very little, to say the least.  I do have some Romanian books I keep saying I will read, but haven't quite gotten around to doing so. I can still read Romanian, though, and understand the language well.

Why am I going on this sort of tangent?  Well, because, this is the first piece of Romanian writing I have read in a pretty long while. It was refreshing to realize it was written so well.  It is very much filled with rich thoughts about why we all read, for that matter.

The Romanian language, to begin with, tends to be very soulful and conceptual.  To read in Romanian is to truly go on a unique journey.  But not all Romanians write to bring out this nature of the Romanian language.  Books and Coffee, does though, in this particular post at least.  I was taken on a beautiful journey of images and expressions.

To translate in another language what Books and Coffee has written is probably to take away from the magic of the words there.  For example, Books and Coffee talks about how the mother is the one person in life that passed on this tradition of reading, but the way it is described it is above and beyond what the English words could express.  
Teleportarea in lumi diferite prin intermediul cartilor, reprezenta o vraja care am descoperit-o cu ajutorul mamei, spunandu-mi ca de fiecare data cand o sa am nevoie de un ajutor sau un sfat, sa apalez la ea fiindca ea era reprezentantul lor in lumea noastra, cea care tine evidenta celor mai frumoase calatorii in universul fictional.
(taken from 'De Ce Citess? from Book and Coffee)
 Like I have mentioned, Books and Coffee, manages to capture, through her own experience, what we all - universally - use as reasons for reading.  I think they are very much some of my own reasons for reading, and most likely some of yours, the readers of this post.

Books and Coffee reads because:
  • Learning to dream.
  • Reading opened the mind to new horizons.
  • Books challenge one to new limits.
  • Reading is now a ritual because of reading out of the simple joy of reading a book.
  • Books teach the wisdom to appreciate those around us.
  • Through reading we learn what different sentiments are, and what feeling is like.
  • Books allow us to become our own childhood magician.
  • Books allow us to become more intellectual and wise.
 I read for much of the same reasons...
  • Books have allowed me to see new worlds, and experience various dimentions of life I wouldn't have otherwise.
  • Reading for me is like the ritual of eating, a day doesn't go by without opening a book to learn something new.
  • Books have allowed me to feel in ways even my own experiences in life have not.
  • I've learned through the power of books my own spiritual strength.
  • Reading has helped me become more focused and more aware of the minutae of life.
  • Books have taught me the power of compassion and of relating to another human being.
  • Books have also shown me some of the darkest parts of life.

I think I will end here... one day I will have to write my own letter to 'my dear books' and thank them for all they have done for me.  Until then, tell me ... why do you read?  

Lastly, I want to thank Books and Coffee for the wonderful post and the inspiration to write this one!

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