I read because…
… it lets me feel. I have (some degree of) alexithymia. But there are certain days where I feel something akin to what I do when I (re)read East of Eden. And it’s not just the feeling I get when I mentally ‘see’ Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley, but it’s clarity and cleanness of thought that comes across in his writing, that’s how I feel in my head. Then there are days of fogginess and that feels like Norwegian Wood. There are days of inexplicable and inexpressible angst that surfaces out of nowhere and I’m in a funk and that feels like Wallace.
…it lets me see the world in a whole new way. Asperger’s is characterized by mindblindness. But books let me understand and crystallize concepts like despair, longing, ecstasy, and insanity. And then there are the ones that warped the world a little for me. The first author who lifted the veil and showed the darker side of human expression was Roald Dahl and his stories for adults (which I read when I was ten)
… I believe in standing on the shoulders of giants and learning from them. Books let me construct mental models of the world. I’m reading Meditations by Aurelius and am making connections with books I’ve read on mindfulness. Knowledge transcends time and I’d be a fool not to take in what better men (and women obviously) have reflected on and to learn from them.
And on a more superficial level, they let me see movies in my mind (the best kind). I’m watching “In Cold Blood”, Capote at the moment.
I’ve always read. As a child, books came with me to social occasions like dinners at relatives’ or to weddings. They let me escape the overwhelming sensory assault, the uncomfortable social interactions. Books are beautiful in what they stand for. And I’ve already starting making a reading list for my yet-to-come baby