For the Love of Books

In the quiet spaces opened up by the prolonged, undistracted reading of a book, people made their own associations, drew their own inferences and analogies, fostered their own ideas. They thought deeply as they read deeply.”

Nicholas Carr, The Shallows

You don’t have to be a voracious reader to love surrounding yourself with books. Books make us feel comfortable; they are sources of inspiration, information, and entertainment. In the fast-paced, digitally-saturated world we live, books are a refuge. With books, it is alright to slow down and think; it is alright to look at the books on your shelf as objects of art; it is alright to hold a book and not read it, but simply to admire the cover or feel the tactile sensation of handling it.

But of course, books exist primarily to be read. Marcus Cicero said it well: “A room without books is like a body without a soul”. Fill your home with printed books, and you will fill it with the comfort and meaning they provide. It’s something that we all crave, whether we are conscious of it or not because it is in our nature to wrap our lives around stories. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live”, says Joan Didion in the first line of her essay, The White Album. Stories capture our human instinct to make sense of the incomprehensive, to link life’s naturally disparate, often chaotic scenes with a narrative thread. On instinct, we fill in the blanks by creating stories. We live by these stories and distill our ways of being from them. That is why I believe writing will never go out of fashion, and books exist for all time.

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