9 Reasons Everyone Should Read

Today is the fourth day of 12 Days of Book Lists. Yay! This list is 9 reasons that everyone should read. Even those who supposedly “don’t read”.

9. To be a better writer
It’s pretty much a fact that good readers make good writers. I can assure you that most of those who write professionally were avid readers even before they considered writing. Even for school writing assignments, those who read often write better work. Readers generally have better grammar and word choice, a stronger vocabulary, and knowledge of whether a work flows well or has effective style.

8. To expand your creativity
Obviously, when you are constantly exploring the creative genius of others, your own creativity grows in response. You can’t just read about a world created by the individual mind of an author and not imagine what kinds of worlds you would create.

7. To understand yourself
Reading lends itself well to introspection. When you get to explore the minds of characters in a book, you learn how to explore your own mind. When you see characters deal with crises, you can’t help but imagine how you would deal with those crises. By finding which characters you relate to the most, you can find which personality traits that you share with them.

6. To appreciate your life
Similarly to watching the news, reading books makes you aware that your life is not that bad compared to that of others. If you read about someone the same age as you trying to overthrow a corrupted, seemingly all-powerful government, you start to realize that you embarrassing yourself in front of your crush is really not going to ruin your life.

5. To relate to others
I, for one, have a hard time relating to others unless they have very similar personalities to me. But reading allows me to learn how to deal with those whose personalities do not necessarily mesh well with mine.

4. To create more goals for yourself
When you read of teenagers who single-handedly defeat the worst possible enemies while still going to school and continuously building their repertoire of skills, you begin to reevaluate your singular goals of getting rich and starting a family. Of course, those are not bad goals to have, but you begin to realize that you could achieve those goals and still do so much more with your life.

3. To grow the multiverse of your mind
I believe that everyone’s mind contains their own personal universe. That is, those who don’t read have minds that contain singular universes, which are the universes in which they exist. However, those who read have multiverses in their minds. Instead of just containing the home universe, a reader’s mind contains all of the universes in each of the books that he or she has read along with the one’s he or she creates through their expanded creativity, which is also a result of reading.

2. To travel to magical places
Who doesn’t want to travel to mystical lands and whole new worlds? Reading allows you to travel the Earth, as well as trillions of other worlds, from the comfort of your own home.

1. To be more productive
I am a firm believer that reading is an act of the productive. Reading undoubtedly increases productivity, if only because of the plethora of productivity and lifestyle books that exist. Reading is a stress-reliever, a relaxation method, a creativity booster, a creativity inlet, as well as many other tools essential to attaining maximum productivity. Reading and productivity also participate in a positive feedback loop. Reading increases productivity, while productivity gives you more time to read.

Why do you (or don’t you) read?

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10 Favorite Characters

Today is day 3 of 12 Days of Book Lists. This was definitely the hardest list so far. This took me all day to figure out. I love so many characters. And I have read so many books in my life that I couldn’t really remember which characters were my favorite. Most of these characters are from books I have read within the last three years because I could actually remember their character traits.

1. Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres from Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

“I don’t want to rule the universe. I just think it could be more sensibly organized.”

I like this Harry much better than the original Harry Potter. He is in many ways the antithesis to JKR’s Harry. Harry from HPMOR is intelligent and cunning and ambitious. He imbibes the traits of each of the Hogwarts houses, but his Ravenclaw side is the most prevalent, closely followed by Slytherin. He wants to know everything. And he wants to use that knowledge to optimize the world.

2. Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus

“Strength has to bow down to Knowledge at times.”

I love Annabeth. She’s the best. Definitely my favorite character from the Percy Jackson-verse. Her intellect is wonderous. And she’s a leader. And she can fight. What more does anyone want to be?

3. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter

“Actually, I’m highly logical, which allows me to look past extraneous detail and perceive clearly that which others overlook.”

Like most of the internet, I love Hermione. First and foremost, she understands the power of books. She gets it! She loves helping people. She’s pretty much the perfect friend. Her character flaws, such as stubbornness and close-mindedness, generally make her more loveable and relatable as a character. (She is, however, largely stripped of any flaws, and thereby, dehumanized in the movies.)

4. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter

“You’re just as sane as I am.”

Luna Lovegood is just so whimsical. She knows more than people give her credit for, but she doesn’t care that everyone thinks she’s a lunatic. She trusts her own knowledge, even thought noone else takes her seriously. I mean, she’s a Ravenclaw for a reason.

5. Allie the Outcast from the Skinjacker trilogy

“I admit nothing.”

Allie is one of the strongest characters from the Skinjacker trilogy. Though she is one of many main characters, we know more about her life than any of the other characters. She craves skinjacking because she loves feeling alive. And she appreciates being alive. But even when she figures out that she might still have a chance at living, she remains in Everlost, so that she can save the world before she saves her own life.

6. Arianna from City of Masks

“Beauty is cash–that’s the Bellezzans’ motto.”

Arianna is really cool. She dresses up like a guy just so she can follow her dream, and she doesn’t think much about the consequences. Even when her plans don’t turn out how she expected, she makes the best of her situation. Power is thrust upon her, and she wears that power well.

7. Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

Finnick! Finnick is definitely my favorite character from the Hunger Games. He hides his true sensitivity behind a mask of hotness. He is the most in-love character we see in the entire trilogy. He is definitely more exclusive with his love than Katniss.

8. Mikey McGill from the Skinjacker trilogy

“If the McGill was your cousin, I can guarantee he’d disown you.”

What can I say about Mikey McGill? He starts out the one true monster of Everlost, and he becomes the greatest force of will in the world to save his soulmate. The relationship between Allie and Mikey is so cute.

9. Andrew Wiggin from Ender’s Game

“I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”

Ender is a genius. And that makes him wonderful. I love smart people. He has a bit of a dark side, and his ingenuity can be kind of terrifying. But his morals are in the right place. Even when he knowingly hurts people, they usually have it coming for them. He tries his hardest to right any of the wrongs he may have done. Ender is the manifestation of the idea that knowledge is the greatest power in the universe.

10. Isabelle Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments

“I’m pure at heart. It repels the dirt.”

I did enjoy the Mortal Instruments series, but I find that Isabelle was one of the few characters that I actually liked. She’s tough and beautiful and just generally awesome. I feel like we could be awesome friends.

Who are your favorite literary characters?