Here are some of my favourite quotes on reading:
“Books are uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King.
Yes, books are magical and the best thing about them is that you can carry them anywhere and be lost in them; whether you’re travelling or waiting for your turn at the dentist’s. And there is something delicious in being able to surface from this magical world and look at the people around you and pity them about the ordinary everyday world they are part of.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R. R. Martin.
Human life is so short. You can at best try and understand your own extremely fragmented part of the world. But by reading you get to know entire worlds. And not just that, you can also time travel. Imagine reading a book written a thousand years ago by a person from halfway across the world. It is magical to be in touch with the life and times the author portrayed. It is like reaching across over space and time and making a connect. Besides, this is how reading builds empathy. By connecting us to people whom we are never likely to meet in this limited lifespan, it helps us accept differences; and extremely important quality in an increasingly polarised world.
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”
― James Baldwin
By reading you get to know that you are not alone in your suffering. There are others who have gone through similar experiences or sometimes worse. It teaches you to cope. It builds camaraderie with peoples whom you have never met.
“An hour spent reading is one stolen from paradise.” – Thomas Wharton.
Truly it is. My idea of paradise is an endless supply of books and the time to read them without being disturbed by the demands of ordinary routines.
“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and you feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” – Paul Sweeney.
This is the feeling that makes me read some of the pages of the book a few times; pages that touched me in some way. This is also why I keep it near my pillow. I don’t want to be parted from it. Not so soon.
“There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read – unless it be reading while you eat.” – E. Nesbit.
Sheer pleasure, no doubt. Munching on something spicy while you read or alternately while eating, diving back into the book you were reading when you were called away.
“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” – Jane Smiley.
In fact I sometimes suspect my body falls ill for the sheer pleasure of reading in bed continuously without feeling guilty.
“In the end we’ll all become stories.” – Margaret Atwood.
We all will. Perhaps we will be fortunate enough to feature as characters in the remembrances of friends and family.
Here’s wishing all my readers a great 2020 with lots of great books to read.
Sign up to receive Pen Page, my email newsletter directly into your inbox. It usually has a note from me, blog excerpts and my take on what I’ve been reading. Occasionally I send out a piece of flash fiction. You may unsubscribe any time. Here are other sections of my blog. Please click to read: Jottings, Personal Essay and Folklore. Please share on: Facebook Instagram Twitter