Why do We Love to Read Memoirs?

I would never call myself a philosopher, certainly not in the academic sense. However, I qualify as per the original meaning of the word in Greek, that is, someone who loves wisdom.

I like to observe, question, and ponder: why do people do what they do? I am on a quest to discover what a life well-lived looks like - and to live it. I am equally intrigued to know what life looks like when we don't live it well.

These are just two reasons why I love to read memoirs.

I read with intent. I read to learn about others and how they lived their lives. I read to know about eras, events, and environments different from my own. I read for answers to my life questions. I read to glean something, one thing that I didn’t know before.

And it isn’t only the memoirs with drama and heartache that teach us about life. Light-hearted and funny memoirs also provide answers to those universal life questions. The way I see it, irrespective of who we are, we are all trying to find our way in life.

And that is why I wrote my own memoir. I wrote it to find my way through intense grief. I wrote it to grapple with some hard questions in my life. I wrote it to record some of the journey God has taken me on. I wrote it to free myself from, what I call, the guilt of forgetting and the torment of remembering. Essentially, I wrote my memoir for my own healing.

Yet, I also wrote my memoir with the hope that it would help others find their way through dark and difficult times. I wrote it to share some of the wisdom I have learnt along the way. I wrote it to make a difference if I could. Read more about my memoir When God Says No on My Memoir page.

It’s your turn. Why do you read memoirs?

New to the genre of memoir? Read my blog post What is a Memoir?

You can find links to my three most recent blog posts right here.

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1 comment

  • Brenda Smit-James

    Three memoirs I have read lately are :
    A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway,
    The Measure of my Powers by Jackie Kai Ellis and
    I’ll Push You by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck.

    All very good!

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