lundi 7 décembre 2009


On being grateful for books. I could have written this myself:

What reasons do you have to be grateful for books?

For providing wonder and learning, company and escape. For teaching me that childhood, school, family, work, marriage, love, the world could be other than it seemed to be and so that I could change things if I wanted to. For giving me a vocabulary and a sense of curiosity and letting me travel in time and place. Even for being decorative and giving warmth and comfort to a room.

What positive impact does reading have on your day?

It takes me out of my day, mostly. I’ve always had the ability to fall so deeply into a book that I lose awareness of my surroundings and I’m grateful for that. Now I read on the train, and I can forget that I’m standing up for an hour, or if I’m having a bad day at work I can run away and read myself out of it at lunchtime. I’m patient about waiting at doctor’s offices or anywhere else, because it’s not wasted time. When I’m having trouble switching off my thoughts, if I pick up the right book I can turn the whole of my concentration onto a different track. Reading is therapy.

What good things has reading taught you?

That intellectual curiosity is a good thing and that I don’t have to accept what I’m told. Particularly when I’m told by someone in ‘authority’. I hope reading has taught me empathy, given me some self-awareness, and broadened my contexts too, because it’s a way of pre-experiencing situations and seeing how they might be dealt with.

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