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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Blogging 101: What is your favourite thing about reading?

Writing Inspiration: Responding to another blog post including backlink

I fell upon a post yesterday that asks simply that question, “What is your favourite thing about reading?”  What is funny, is that we are supposed to link to the post, but for the life of me, I can’t seem t be able to track down the comment.  Never the less, I am proceeding with this rant and hopefully, the article in question will materialize. Our Blogging 101 assignment for today is “Respond to another post that builds on a comment you have left on another blog.  Don’t forget to provide a link back to the other site.”

I finally found the post — give it a read.

So with that in mind, today’s Blogging 101 topic:

Write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!

Why do we read?

Photo by andres chaparro from Pexels
Image: Women reading a book in a hammock. Source: Photo by andres chaparro from Pexels.

I asked my eight-year-old “What is his favourite thing about reading?” his response, “It helps me learn what to make in Minecraft and learn about animals”.  Regretfully, learning is probably why most of us read, and in many cases the only reason why they read.  If it was not through school; how much did we spend on university or college books; it is a manual for how to set up the new LED Television or Blue-Ray player, or in my case the past day, the tiny print in installation manual for my computers motherboard trying to diagnose an error, or the page or two of homework questions each night.   It is no wonder many children find reading a chore and at times a punishment. Then again – – my youngest is just learning to read, I mean, baby steps here — repetition, 4 or five 5 words sentences, “Here comes the red race-car, Here comes the blue race-car” yet, he is unbelievably proud of himself that he can read Daddy a story.  Maybe there is hope for reading for fun, reading for pleasure?

A Lost Reader

I admit I took a very long hiatus from reading which probably started the first day I arrived at university, a terrible habit I did not break without contempt until last years; I graduated in 2000.   It is incredible how quickly times flies when you look at it from that perspective, wow.  However, between additional schooling, dating, relationships, children, lawn work, career, the idea of reading never crossed my mind.  Well, at least reading for entertainment.  Today I can say I have found a balance.  I will never be a book a week person, as I enjoy to read each and every word written over speed reading vast chunks of a story just to move on to the next, however, I make the time for a great book, and always fight through mediocrity.  You can actually take a quick at the following page that highlights my recent reads (Recommended books for middle-aged me, from a middle-aged man). I am sure I have missed a few books, however, at quick glance, 30 books over the past two years.  Not a huge feat, however, at the same time, going from a handful of books a decade to more than a dozen in a year is an amazing start.

So what does Mark enjoy about reading?

Many of my days at work can be spent reading – it is incredible how quickly you can great through a 200-page report, digest its essence, critique its merits, and spit out a wish list of notes and changes.  However, when it comes to reading for myself – the tides do turn.  Whereby day, I read for a purpose, by night, I read for nothing more than the experience.  Much like a fine glass of wine, which we slowly savour, I too savour a great read and enjoy each word, comma and syllable.  I usually equate my reading speed to that of talking .. slow, steady, one word at a time.  I ravish in the story, in the adventure, in the “who done it?” – who has read Gone Girl?  Every story is a world in its own – we are touched, we laugh, we are engaged.  For a moment, we live through not the author’s eyes but, for a moment, the characters and the world that has been created for them – as readers this is our escape. Worlds that captivate us so deeply, it is hard to escape. How many times do we tell ourselves, only one more page, not wanting to put the book down?

I know what you are saying to yourself, “seriously Mark, sounds like you only read fiction, how unsophisticated is that!”, and I admit, I will jump at fiction before any other form of writing. However that being said, when the read has sparked my interest anything is game. One extremely interesting read of late was, “Detroit: An American Autopsy” by Charlie LeDuff. His recount of squaller of Detroit today is enough for me to want to make a road trip. The transformation of the city is simply more then I can get my mind around – and has to make you think.

So, for me, this is my favourite part about reading. Why do you read?


Mark Hanlon


Mark is an avid photographer, Starbucks addict, motivated cyclist, struggling runner, and rocking single parent living outside of Toronto, Ontario. Living with two chronic ilnesses, Crohn’s Disease and Diabetes, life for this Transportation Planner and Registered Professional Planner (RPP) can be an interesting mix.