Monday, November 2, 2009

Why do we read books?

So today I was reading one of my books (The Solitudes) for my English 218 class (Writing about Literature) and stubbled across this passage:

"Yet Rosie was not, actually, a great reader. Cumulatively she had not read a lot in her life; in normal times a thick book, a long tale, held no special attraction. Only at certain times, as though it were an old fever contracted in childhood and breaking out periodically, did she fall into books' and when she fell in she fell all in. It was escape: she was quite clear about that. Often she had known just what it was she was escaping from-though during her first year married to Mike, the year of John Galsworthy, she hadn't known' and she hadn't at all understoud the first outbreak, in some ways the severest, the year her family moved to the Midweast and Rosie worked her way steadily and blurrily through not only the collected Nancy Drew but all of Mr. Moto and the Biography shelf of a branch library too, reading lives that did not strike her as materially different from fictions, learning facts she would never altogether forget or ever remember exactly about Amelia Earhart, W. C. Handy, Albert Payson Terhune, Pearl Mesta, Woodrow Wilson, and a host of others. That year she walked continually in her life carrying another life, the one inside books, the one that engaged her the more intimately; her living was divided in two, reading and not readin, as completely and necessarily as it was divided into sleeping and being awake." (pg. 230-231)

I read for this purpose, to be swept away in someone elses life, a stuggle between something clearly good and something clearly evil. Books are simplicity to me and my crazy life. Books have one way to go, one plot and one ending. is just completely uncertain; "Should I stay at ASU an extra semester or change universities?", "Should I move now or later?", "Will I ever be a nurse?", "When will Vlad be able to live in the states?" Everything is just so uncertain and everything is just so frustrating. There is no controlling it and no planning, because, well...there's nothing you can really do about it. I love to read. I love to "carry another life" with me.

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