One summer morning at sunrise a long time ago
I met a little girl with a book under her arm.
I asked her why she was out so early and
she answered that there were too many books and
far too little time. And there she was absolutely right.
Stories are, in one way or another, mirrors. We use them to explain to ourselves how the world works or how it doesn’t work. Like mirrors, stories prepare us for the day to come. They distract us from the things in the darkness.
Neil Gaiman, Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions
Currently reading: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers — of persistence, concentration, and insight — to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.”
You should not apologize for what you like to read. The person you are apologizing to can only fit into one of three categories:
1. He or she shares your joy. 2. He or she doesn’t give a good goddamn. 3. He or she thinks less of you for what you read in which case don’t apologize to that person because he or she is clearly a douchebag who doesn’t deserve your obeisance.
Number 1 requires no apology. Number 2 requires no apology. Number 3 neither requires nor deserves! an apology.
Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life