Why I read…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Between the daily grind of teaching and lesson prepping, as well as my Saturday school adult class, and a church art gallery I’ve put together for the month of June, I’ve been BUSY.  But life is good.  In my moments of free time I tend to pick up a book because I find the Internet too mind numbing sometimes.  Many times I wish I could convince more people to read good literature, but I find myself at a loss for words.

I stumbled across this passage by C.S. Lewis when I was reading his biography, and he says everything I wish I could, but in better words:

Literature enlarges our being by admitting us to experiences not our own.  They may be beautiful, terrible, awe-inspiring, exhilarating, pathetic, comic, or merely piquant.  Literature gives the entrée to them all.  Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom realize the enormous extension of our being that we owe to authors.  We realize it best when we talk with an unliterary friend.  He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world.  In it, we should be suffocated.  My own eyes are not enough for me.  Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough….

In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself.  Like the night sky in a Greek poem, I see with a thousand eyes, but it is still I who see.  Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself:  and am never more myself than when I do.”

– “An Experiment in Criticism” pgs. 140-141, C.S Lewis.

Read a book…and be transformed vicariously through story.  Don’t read, and live in a small world.

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