The Importance of Reading
“Why do you read all the time?” A frequently asked question of my past and I still find it repeated even now as I have entered a higher class of the educated. Whenever posed with this blatant criticism of my preferred free time activity, I simply answer with “Why don’t you read all the time?” Of course I might sound like the biggest geek that ever walked the face of the earth, but the fact of the matter is that no matter what negative stereotype is attached to those who read, it has never stopped me from continuing to pursue my joy of literature. I am a firm believer in the power of a book and that the fact that the more well read you are the better chance you have of relating to entirely different groups of people.
Ever since I can remember, my father has encouraged me to read. I suppose that it is due to his poor background that he is so inspired by books. As a result, I was reading Shakespeare before most could even pronounce his name. Captured by the amazing usage of words in the old Elizabethan era, I was spurred to read more by past British writers and they remain to this day my preferred choice of books. This is not to say that I am not a fan of the more modern author on the contrary, I read all genres and believe that each have their own additions to the literary world.
However, none of them can compare to my all time favourite author, Jane Austen. First introduced to her when I was about twelve years old, I was instantly captured by her style of writing and her personal background. She is the most famous feminist writer of her time but was only truly celebrated after her death, to my own sentimental twelve-year-old heart that seemed so tragic and was automatically my reason to sympathize with her. After reading the first book, Pride and Prejudice, I was hooked and immediately went out to purchase the rest of her collection. Jane Austen is the main reason why I love to read and through her books I entered such a wonderful, long-dead, society of chivalry and protocol, where the characters feel so real and you only wish you could be Elizabeth Bennet falling for Mr. Darcy and becoming mistress of Pemberly.
Not only is my love for British literature born from Shakespeare, but also from my love for history. I have been enamored with the past for as long as I can remember. History has shaped every aspect of our society today and is something to be reverenced and remembered. When I was nine years old my family moved from South Africa to the former Soviet Union, more specifically to a little country called Latvia. This might have been the best move to better ignite my passion for history as the country is ancient and so is its culture. I visited every ruin and castle I could in the four-year span I was there. And as a result my writing blossomed as my imagination and knowledge of the ancients expanded with the combination of my extensive reading.
I remember when I was in fourth grade we had to...