Just like boosters on a space shuttle,

I ’ve found that books propel me forward, though I read for many reasons. Investing my time in literature, often more than one novel at a time, allows me to cultivate my thoughts and sprinkle some water on the seeds in my mind.

A lot of people I know like to read for pleasure, but only for pleasure. When I read Jon Krakauer or Truman Capote, of course I enjoy every single word, but if all I get out of those books are feelings of pleasure that removes me from the real world, I feel I’ve wasted my time. Pleasure is not a waste of time, but if I am going to enjoy reading a novel or a memoir I might as well redeem something more.

The world is unfathomably more complex than my conservative, John Boehner hometown of West Chester, Ohio, United States.

Yep, the teary-eyed Speaker, with a tan (an understatement indeed.)

If I chose the same kind rocket fuel as everyone else, I’d get no further.

To tell you the truth, I am a radical anarcho-syndicalist. That political worldview has long been sown by extra-national experiences and good books. It would be easier for me to read the so-called “page turners”, and I’ve been literally yelled at for questioning the worth of reading books that are very popular and easy to read.

So this is why I read: so my mind is opened a little further every day, but in a different way than most. Great books are well-sold, but I won’t read those books. If I have the same words floating in the stars before me, I can only imagine so far as they drive me.

As with The Starship and the Canoe by Kenneth Brower, there is a magical connection between the fantastical space travel of science fiction and the cerebral travel within the human mind. That’s why I find books to be fuel, not for a fire, but for engines of the mind.

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