I love reading, for the same reason that it’s sometimes hard.
You know when you’ve got a book open, but you can’t concentrate? You can’t picture the scenes, you can’t hear the dialogue, because in your mind, you’re still replaying a row you had earlier – thinking what you said, what you should have said – or maybe you’re worrying what you must do… In these moments, your mind is like a computer with a virus: it’s invaded by adverts and pictures; you can get nothing done.
To read, you need to shut off the devices, to go somewhere quiet, and sometimes it still takes a few minutes while your eye keeps slipping off the words. But keep going. After a while, it’s as if a big door shuts in your mind, silencing the buzzing and the beeps and the little flashing lights…
When we stare at the screens, our minds are like mosquitoes. They get tired, from bumping against the glass. But when we read, they are like great birds. They soar off into the night.
Great writers are great thinkers. As we read them, we see what they noticed; we hear what they were moved to record; we feel as they did. That’s why, when you put the book down, you feel slightly different. You’ve relaxed your mind a moment. You’ve entered someone else’s. Now you’re noticing different things, and life feels richer.
That’s why I love to read. Why do you? And when did you last read something good?