Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I Study Literature

It teaches me to never be the way some people in the world have been.

It creates another world that I can enter, and whether it be a better, happier world, or a much, much worse world, I come out of it with a different perspective than when I went in. And yes, I really do see it that way—I enter into a book, into the frame of that specific story, when I start reading and I exit when I must—when the world I actually live in requires my attention.

A good story can change my life, but so can a good sentence. And while a movie or a conversation with a friend or a storytelling festival or an audio book can tell a story, only a print copy of a work of literature can give me the satisfaction of reading with my own eyes something that changes me.

I don’t want a Kindle, no matter how easy it makes it to lug around 10,000 books at a time. I like to feel on my back the weight of the book I carry, and I like to feel on my soul the weight of the story that I’m engaging in.

And anyway, I would never want to spend 4 long years of college doing anything besides reading reading reading about the most mind-blowing glimpses into the lives of others, and then making it mean something to me along with a room full of people doing the same thing.

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