Books are the things you lose yourself into.
I had a bad day during which everything electronic was sparking, failing and frustrating (I’m looking at you iTunes and AT &T). Instead of taking it out on nearby humans, I quit everything and read a whole book.
You have heard, often enough, that writers read. Authors should read everything. We should read as if our lives depended on it. We should read as if we are still in school and reading is a class requirement, necessary for our job, something that we must do. Our response, reasonably enough, is to resist those requirements and go to the movies. Because the popcorn is better there.
What is forgotten during all these admonishments is the shear joy of reading. If you are a reader, then you know what it is to lose yourself in a book. That day I picked up a book thinking okay fine, I can’t get on line, I can’t watch TV, it’s too cold to hike, I’ll just sit here and read.
It was like taking a vacation. As I dove into the novel, not only were my troubles temporarily gone, so was my whole being. Reading launches you into exotic places, allows you to experience the world through someone else’s eyes, passions and ideas. It allows you to glance into the future or experience first hand what happened in the past. And for hours, you are not in your house or your car or your in-laws. You are on an exotic adventure.
Reading in this context is like getting away with something. No one knows where you’ve been, what you’ve learned. No one can tell. A good book gives you conspiracy and a shared experience: you and the author, a communication that transcends both space and time.
Don’t mind me, I’ve been far away.
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