Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
It is only a novel!… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.
If you read with your eyes shut you’re likely to find that the place where you’re going is far, far behind.
If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things.
I read a lot. I always have, but in those two years I gorged myself on books with a voluptuous, almost erotic gluttony. I would go to the local library and take out as many as I could, and then lock myself in the bedsit and read solidly for a week. I went for old books, the older the better – Tolstoy, Poe, Jacobean tragedies, a dusty translation of Laclos – so that when I finally resurfaced, blinking and dazzled, it took me days to stop thinking in their cool, polished, crystalline rhythms.
I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.