These days, it seems there is a day, a week, or a month set aside to commemorate just about everything. Well among other things, March is National Reading Month. I, for one, do not believe a single month out of the year is a sufficient amount of time to celebrate the joy of reading, but as usual, nobody asked for my opinion!
My perception on the subject made me consider how others might feel about this topic. I found that the pursuit of reading has generated some very entertaining and passionate perspectives across the centuries. Here are just a few examples.
“Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he read made him mad.” George Bernard Shaw
“Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.” Neil Gaiman
“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” Joyce Carol Oates
“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.” John Waters
“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” Anne Lamott
My personal reading revelry will not end on March 31. I will continue my quest for edification, illumination, education, and recreation throughout 2014 and beyond. Read on, brothers and sisters, read on!