I like the human imagination: its delicacy, its brutal aggressive energy, its profundity, its power to transform the material world into art.’
He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.
Oscar Wilde in the spring of 1900, taken by Lord Alfred Douglas.
This picture was taken about six months before Wilde’s death. He certainly looks heavier and more aged than in any other photograph I’ve ever seen of him.
Fiction is dangerous, Gaiman explained, because “it lets you into others’ heads, it gives you empathy, and it shows you that the world doesn’t have to be like the one you live in.” That imaginative leap into other minds and other worlds is surely the reason many of us read fiction.
I saw him hip-deep in some icy water, chasing a book, and I saw a boy lying in bed, imagining how a kiss would taste from his glorious next-door neighbor. He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.
Reading was like an addiction; I read while I ate, on the train, in bed until late at night, in school, where I’d keep the book hidden so I could read during class. Before long I bought a small stereo and spent all my time in my room, listening to jazz records. But I had almost no desire to talk to anyone about the experience I gained through books and music. I felt happy just being me and no one else. In that sense I could be called a stack-up loner.
We are the readers. We are the ones who want to know more. We are the ones who observe the fictional and the real. We are the ones who create the story, even when there isn’t one there to begin with. We are the ones you write for. We are the ones who make things more interesting because we can find the story in every conversation, in every interaction. We are the ones who will never stop learning, dreaming, hoping, finding. We are the ones will never stop trying to figure it out, and will always be aware that we never will… it’s what keeps us searching, looking, wanting.
Reader’s Bill of Rights
1. The right to not read
2. The right to skip pages
3. The right to not finish
4. The right to reread
5. The right to read anything
6. The right to escapism
7. The right to read anywhere
8. The right to browse
9. The right to read out loud
10. The right to not defend your tastes
….for the night
Hath been to me a more familiar face
Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Of dim and solitary loveliness,
I learn’d the language of another world.