Somewhere there must be a Venn diagram that shows people who read, and people who don’t, well I am in the section where they live to read. Is that strange to you? Possibly not, since you are reading this blog post. Lately my time has been increasingly devoted to my hobby (illustration), since I am getting used to the new freedom that a woman without a real job but with a family begins to enjoy on the imminent stretching of wings by the adult offspring. I say that with tongue partly in cheek, since I worked full time in a very busy environment with a responsible paid job which I eschewed in favour of bringing up a family. I never regretted a moment, though sometimes I would have like to have gone back to work for a) recognition of my talents b) a rest and c) some of that dirty lucre. Oh well, we are where we are, self respect diminished to non-existence, a rubbish wardrobe and a knackered spirit. Boys are good though. I digress, this is about reading, or what happens when the lights go out? My reading gene has been hijacked by some monstrous atrocity, and I want it back. I’m not saying I don’t read, just that I struggle to maintain the same enthusiasm for it. I will not give up however, because who am I without a book to shape my thoughts? Beg my affection?
It does occur to me, sometimes, that there are people inhabiting this planet with me who do not care for reading. I know, shocking, it upsets me even to consider. Should I be evangelising reading? Perhaps I should. I have helped out in the local school with the juniors, does that count? I don’t want people to just read, I want them to eulogise about what they read, to fall headlong.
“The reader became the book; and summer night
Was like the conscious being of the book.”
― Wallace Stevens
I am not a preacher though, I have no talent for conscription and fully hold with the idea that the world is improved by diversity as opposed to homogeny. So if those non readers prefer kayaking or climbing mountains, football or the society of naturists, so be it. I shall continue to risk everything in the pursuit of the alchemy of the written word, and hope to be transported to foreign landscapes and impossible times by wizards and wordsmiths. See you there.
Image is Bartheleme d’Eyck c 1442 , courtesy of the Rijks Museum.
If you are interested in owning a reproduction of his beautiful painting, it is incorporated into a variety of products on my Society 6 site, which is linked on my home page.