The Family

The Family

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why Books

There are varied responses to the question: Why do you read so much?

While I've often heard it said that books are a form of escape, that's never been the case for me.

I read because it makes me feel.

Such as the wonder and delight of the magical world created in any Harry Potter book, no matter how many times I've read it before.

Or the pity and empathy for poor Buck at the beginning of "The Call of the Wild." Those feelings later give way to a sense of pride and respect.

Then there's the fear that Mira Bartok stirs up when she recalls the countless stories of her mother's schizophrenia in "The Memory Palace." Maybe others would feel disgust, or empathy for the author, but I guess it more closely relates to terror and panic for me because many of her stories are all too familiar.

Or the longing one feels when reading "Grandfather's Journey." The pull of two places is so strong, combined with the memory of one's own grandparents, that it's hard to get through the book without pauses of grief.

Then there's the joy of discovering great food from great places in "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World."

There's also the understanding of the loss of innocence when reading the last line of the e.e. cummings poem "Maggie and Milly and Molly and Mae."

It's countless other feelings: love, despair, disgust, glee. The list goes on. And if  you ever catch the reading bug, it will never fail to deliver. 

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