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On Books and Reading

December 5, 2011
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“Reynie’s heart gave a lurch when he entered the library.  He loved it instantly, as he did all libraries…”  -Trenton Lee Stewart, The Mysterious Benedict Society
 
For as long as I can remember libraries have made my heart lurch, my stomach churn, my blood pound.  Such a startling contradiction of two worlds simultaneously co-existing.  One world where stale, still air and somber colors, dust and solitude are sacred.

“The world is quiet here.”- Lemony Snicket

The other world defies explanation.  Because it is always changing, always unknown, always unpredictable, and it depends on which book you open.

There are books so alive that you’re always afraid that while you weren’t reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away.  No one has stepped twice into the same river.  But did anyone ever step twice into the same book? ~Marina Tsvetaeva

A lot of people have asked me why I love to read.  Some people have hinted or even flat out stated that reading is a waste of time.  I agree that not everyone is made of reader material.  So, if you’re not a reader, you probably don’t understand.  But, that’s ok.  There are many things about other people that I don’t understand.  But, there are many things about people that I DO understand… because I read.  There are so many different types of books that it’s hard to lump them all into one general classification.  Just like there are educational movies about science that are used in college classrooms, and there are movies about Thomas the Tank Engine that are used in pre-school day cares.  There are fluffy books, garbage books, dry books, adventure books, classics, books 1000 pages long all about one person’s opinion.

Take a glance at my book lists* and you’ll see what sort of books I enjoy reading.  Do I think they’re a waste of time?  NOT at all.  Here’s why:  Every book I read was written by a person I’ve never met.  No matter the subject, that person has put a lot of themselves into their book.  They write about their opinions, their view of the world, their perception on people, and their personal beliefs whether they really intend to or not.  Reading the work of an author is like reading a little bit of their heart, sweat, blood and tears.  I have learned so much about the world from reading.  Where else could I have a heart to heart conversation with so many different people?

I’m of the opinion that everyone should read.  You don’t have to make it a hobby like I do.  But, read a book a month.  A book every six months…  Whatever you can manage.  A little reading goes a long way.

*I’ve kept lists of all the books I read for a few years now.  If enough people are interested I would consider publishing the monthly lists here. So leave a comment if that’s something you’d like to see!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    December 5, 2011 9:50 am

    I loved reading your book list on your old blog!

  2. Debi permalink
    December 5, 2011 9:17 pm

    I loved reading it too! Please continue to share it 🙂

  3. December 7, 2011 2:18 pm

    Me 2!!

  4. Susannah permalink
    December 8, 2011 9:24 am

    Love that quote by Marina Tsvetaeva!!!! I was just thinking along those same lines the other day! Marina Tsvetaeva of course put it much more elegantly and precisely then my jumbled thoughts could! Great post! I wanna get into a book right now!!!!

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