Thursday, February 16, 2017

What reading does for the back of my head

A perfect paragraph, a shockingly grand insight that rattles the cosmos, a fluid narrative turn that leaps the rails, these are the reasons we read.

I always have a stack of next books to read. I try to range wide and deep. Dig into the right book, at the right time, and the muscles at the back of my head, near the neck, change their composition, wag their tails and release some sort of transcendental remedy that makes everything okay.

I don't finish every book I start, and there are a good number of thicker text that crowd the nightstand for years, but the anticipation of reading a book, the free possibility of it, the play of interaction between the worlds each text represents, all of this is worth the space it takes, even the dust it collects, because the world is made somehow larger and more grand simply because they exist.

More than once, I've taken more books than pairs of socks on a trip. And I've never regretted it, even though I seldom finish every book that makes the journey. The books are just part of the journey, and the carrying of them a mild compulsion that feeds the soul.

So here's the stack, with just a bit of commentary mixed in.

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