“books are a uniquely portable magic”

Bart's Books, Ojai

One of my earliest memories is sitting cross legged on the carpet to the left of the fireplace, facing the bookshelf, a big book in my lap. One of my parents remarked to the other that it was typical: I had my back to the television. I remember looking around and noticing the rest of the family focused on ‘the box’, before returning with a shrug to my book.

I have never been a TV fan. I have always been a reader.

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. ― Groucho Marx

Have you ever seen this? Yeah, to a large degree, that’s me. Especially the bit about introducing her strangely-named kids to Aslan.

Books teach me, enlighten me, transport, soothe and awaken me. I like them more than film, because they allow me to supply my own visuals, and go at my own pace. I can take them anywhere. My relationship with the author feels more intimate, because we interact one-on-one each time. And while I often use the written word for education, I also use it to escape.

At the end of a long day, when I am quiet and clean and in my own bed, a book allows me to forget my stresses and slip into another world. It clears my mind of the daily clutter, and provides a bridge to my night-dreaming. For me, books serve some of the same purposes as meditation.

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live. ― Gustave Flaubert

How do YOU escape reality for a while when you need to?

[Title quote: Stephen King, On Writing]

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2 Comments

  1. I love that Uruiqo essay! I am also a girl that reads. Books are definitely a meditation!

    Reply
  2. Lola

     /  November 18, 2012

    I do the same thing! Rather than joining my mom in shopping excursions at the mall when I was younger, I negotiated being dropped off at it’s bookstore, where I would lose myself for hours. Though I asked for little in terms of material possessions, I always left with a book or 2. I’ve lagged as an adult – life got in the way, but over the past month, with plenty of time, I’ve read four delicious books in a month! It feeds me in a way no other activity does. Off to finish my book before sleep :)

    Reply

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