Armed Services YMCA Essay Contest 2005
"Why I Like to Read"
I have traveled the world Egypt, Great Britain, Italy, the Holy Land, India, France, Germany, and a host of other wonderful places. I have visited the Great Pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, the Roman Coliseum, the palace of Versailles, the marvel of Stonehenge, the bloody battlefields of Gettysburg, and experienced the splendor of the Taj Mahal. I did not travel by plane, boat, rail or car nor was I alone on these journeys. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, and Robert E. Lee were but a few of my guides. It was through the pages of books that I embarked upon my voyages of discovery.
Books enable a person to travel, experience and delight in ways that may not be available to them otherwise. I love to read because it allows me to travel through time and space to places and events, which I find fascinating. Whether I'm lying in bed or sitting in a comfy chair I can find myself whisked away to faraway lands and days of yore. Books also offer the benefits of knowledge. Learning about people and places, whether present day or historically, is of utmost importance to me. As a seventeen-year-old high school student I do not yet have the ways or means of traveling to these locales other than through books. I find great pleasure in reading whether it is a well-written novel, biography or historical non-fiction. People, places and events come alive in my imagination when I see the words before me on a piece of clean, crisp white paper. Reading allows me to grasp the thoughts, emotions and feelings of historical players whom I find most interesting. I can clearly imagine myself standing at the bloody battlefield of Gettysburg. The sights, smells and sounds of battle invade my senses and I can easily picture General Lee on his gray steed, Traveler, as he peruses the bloody wreckage of broken bodies before him. His thoughts and emotions are made apparent in my mind. I can...
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