Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The basis of art is truth, both in matter and in mode. -Flannery
It has always been a dream of mine to work as a librarian. The idea of living and working every single day in a world consumed with books is one of the most thrilling vocations I can imagine. My picture of heaven includes a lot of things, but one in particular is an endless shelf full of books. Kind of like the library the Beast showed Belle. It makes me giddy inside.
I bought a Kindle. I'm not ashamed. I have a reason for it and I have justified it in my mind, so no worries. But I will never give up the feel of binding and paper between my hands. I will never give up the ink stains on my thumbs or the cramps in my finger joints from being strained in the same position of balancing an open book. I will never give up my library card. I don't care whether people read only from hard copies or only from digital formats. I care that they read.
Some people are not readers, and while I accept that, I just don't understand it. I feel like there is a laziness of sorts at the root of it. Literacy is a gift, a privilege. People don't realize that there still are classes and societies and cultures where the ability to read is not as prominent as the class, society and culture in which I find myself. The choice to not read, I believe, is to forfeit the chance to expand the horizons of one's mind, the perimeters of one's understanding. Knowledge is power in many senses, and reading is the basis of how knowledge is attained for oneself. The written word is a gift. Literature is an eternal conversation, in a way, and by reading and writing, we add to that conversation. We make our voices heard by writing as well as listening to the voices of others by reading.
Some people are avid readers, some people simply read books. It is not important what pace a person goes in reading or what amount a person reads. Some people like to go slow, some like to flit through the pages. All modes are for various reasons. And that doesn't even really matter. It matters to me (and to every reader and writer) that the word simply be read.