Groucho Marx says “outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” This saying always fascinated me. The magic of the book is each time we read for enjoyment the empathy awakened within us creates an entire landscape in our mind’s eye.
In her book Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare has this dialogue ” one must be careful of books,” said Tessa, ”and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us” how true. Every book has the potential to touch the human soul deeply, arousing patterns of thought that might otherwise have lain dormant. The pleasure we derive from the written word is unique in that we must labour for it. other forms of art provide us with stimulus and ask nothing more that our emotional response. Reading is an active pastime that requires an investment of emotion as well as our concentration and imagination. The words we read are merely a starting point for a process that takes place largely within our minds and hearts. To quote William Styron, “ a great book should leave you with many experiences and slightly exhausted at the end. You will live several lives while reading it.”
C.S.Lewis says,” you can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” Curling up with a book and a cup of tea is one of the simplest ways we can remove ourselves from the confines of reality in order to immerse ourselves in the drama and intrigue of the unfamiliar. there are few activities as comforting, relaxing and healthy as getting lost between the pages of a good piece of fiction or non-fiction. The pleasure of transcending reality is only one aspect of the reading experience, whether we prefer the fantastic nature of fiction, we create entire landscapes in our mind’s eye. The books we choose provide us with the inspiration we need to accomplish such a feat, but its our own creative reserves that empowers us to use our imaginations for this unique and beautiful purpose. Neil Gaiman sums it up beautifully in his book Coraline, ”fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
In his Book The Fault In Our Stars John Green says, ”sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back to gather unless and until all living humans read the book.” There have been books like that. There have been books that I have lost myself in and it lead me on paths of discovery that took me out of my own life and helped me see that existence can unfold in an infinite number of ways. i have learnt so much from the characters and mentors who guide from page to page. My emotion awakened each time I read, allowing me to become vessels of passion that pours forth from line after line of print.
Many times I think, the books we absorb—those that touch us deeply will become a part of who we are, providing us with a rich and thrilling world within us, we can revisit this shambala anytime we wish by simply closing our eyes.
If you are in a room with no books, walk out, you are in a room with no soul, and if you have not read a book for pleasure lately try to allow yourself the time you deserve it. as for me, I am like Groucho Marx, “I find the television very educating, every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”