I was rereading Where Books Fall Open -- a reader's anthology full of drawings, paintings, poems, essays, etc about books and reading -- when I came across one of my favorite passages. I thought I'd share with you all, as I think you'd appreciate and relate to it more than anyone else I know.
by Elizabeth Hardwick
As I have grown older I see myself as fortunate in many ways. It is fortunate to have had all my life this passion for studying and enjoying literature and for trying to add a bit to it as interestingly as I can. This passion has given me much joy, it has given me friends who care for the same things, it has given me employment, escape from boredom, everything. The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.
Do you, every time you finish a good book and pick up another one, stop and think about what reading means to you? For me, there are so many passages out there that can explain what it means to me. I can even write an entire essay, maybe even a long blog post rambling on about it. But I think this short passage sums up how I feel about it pretty darn well. At least, for now.