Posts Tagged ‘library’

The pleasurable act of reading

Why I read

 

Know that thrilling feeling when you meet someone by happenstance and the two of you instantly connect? That’s how I feel about a book I started this week.

As part of my pre-baby nesting rush, I asked a dear friend to take me on a library run a couple weeks ago (thanks, Priscilla!) Knowing I’d have hours of feeding time ahead, I ambitiously brought home an armful of books, hoping for potential “friends” to keep me company. Granted, I’m going at it slower than I’d like (already had to renew library reservations), but I’m so glad Wendy Lesser’s Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books (2014) caught my eye in the “Popular” section.

The book’s theme (writing about reading) complements this blog’s intentions of “writing about writing.”  She’s endeared herself to me, this author, knowing just how to phrase poignant feelings I have about reading, words, and literature. A few share-worthy gems from her introduction:

Reading has, at any rate, the virtue of being one-to-one. It’s just you and the book, enclosed within a private space; it some ways that means it’s just you, alone with an inert object you are temporarily bringing to life. (p. 6)

Isn’t that lovely? It’s true, reading is such an intimate act. Yet, there’s also a sense of conversational partnership between the reader and the writer. I also love this:

Reading literature is a way of reaching back to something bigger and older and different. It can give you the feeling that you belong to the past as well as to the present, and it can help you realize that your present will someday be someone else’s past. This may be disheartening, but it can also be strangely consoling at times. (p. 6)

I completely agree. Reading (and writing) allows one to transport through time and space, experiencing another’s thoughts. Lesser’s words on revisiting books mirror my recent assertion that “books are friends to be revisited again and again,” with the beautiful analogy:

Even the second or third or tenth time you read it, a book can surprise you, and to discover a new writer you love is like discovering a whole new country. (p. 4)

A whole planet of reading awaits. For now, I’m content keeping track of my when-I-can-get-them moments with books on my new Goodreads account, admiring the tiny sleeping beauty in my arms.

Please share: What are your suggestions on authors and books you love?