In the weeks leading up to the 95th annual Children’s Book Week, Boston-based publisher David R. Godine invited students in grades K-6 in Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge, Mass., to answer the question: Why do you love reading?

Godine intern Erinn Pascal, who just graduated from Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program, organized the contest, which she judged along with intern Serene Hakim. Together they selected seven winners, who each received a Godine children’s book and were invited to read their essays, along with 26 runners up, at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., on May 16.

More than 80 people attended the reading. Afterward the winners and the students who received honorable mentions, signed booklets of the essays, which were printed by Godine and Porter Square. The reasons cited for enjoying reading varied from student to student. Madeline N. wrote that she reads “because it helps me to write, and writing helps me to make imaginative stories.” Hannah C. reads for information and entertainment and because “If I didn’t read at all, I would probably not know much from books.” Others like Alexander S. B. wrote, “Sometimes when I am bored or I am upset, I grab a book and read.”

"It was a wonderful celebration of reading, and we at Porter Square Books felt very lucky to share it," said director of marketing Josh Cook. "Over the course of the event, other customers would walk up to the desk and say something along the lines of, 'This is so great.'"