You should never read just for “enjoyment.” Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick “hard books.” Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, “I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth.” Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of “literature”? That means fiction, too, stupid.
From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.
We read five words on the first page of a really good novel and we begin to forget that we are reading printed words on a page; we begin to see images.
By the way, if your character isn’t making any decision in a scene, it’s not a scene. It’s goofing around. Cut it or revise.
There are books that one reads over and over again, books that become part of the furniture of one’s mind and alter one’s whole attitude to life, books that one dips into but never reads through, books that one reads at a single sitting and forgets a week later:
People talk about books that write themselves, and it’s a lie. Books don’t write themselves. It takes thought and research and backache and notes and more time and more work than you’d believe.
The book and I secret ourselves
Behind the paneled door.
We merge our thoughts in retrospect
Of ancient mystic lore.
We spend a pleasant quiet hour,
Nor know it passed us by…
The easy chair, the shaded lamp,
A well-loved book and I.
What is more natural than that a solidity, a complicity, a bond should be established between Reader and Reader, thanks to the book?
You can leave the bookshop content, you, a man who thought that the period where you could still expect something from life had ended. You are bearing with you two different expectations, and both promise days of pleasant hopes; the expectation contained in the book - of a reading experience you are impatient to resume - and the expectation contained in that telephone number - of hearing again the vibrations, a times treble and at times smoldering, of that voice, when it will answer your first phone call in a while, in fact tomorrow, with the fragile pretext of the book, to ask her if she likes it or not, to tell her how many pages you have read or not read, to suggest to her that you meet again…
A book a week I heave a sigh;
That Slogan’s peremptory cry
I will not hear, I will not heed.
How can They say that I should need
The book They bid me weekly buy?
But Slogans change, as days go by;
My Psyche listens, fluttering shy,
To newer message “Come and Read
A book a week.”
To read! to read! O wings that fly
O’er sun-kissed lands, through clouded sky
That bear us on where Great ones lead!
I too must follow, so I plead
For magic wings. I’ll read (or try)
A book a week!