The Joy of Reading Good Books
Literature is not genre fiction, it is pure, unadulterated bliss of the written word. Reading is an art form that when taken to its highest level instills values, creates worlds anew and defines the beliefs and value systems of an individual.Good writing never preaches, it is not the fiery minister in the pulpit boasting damnation and sin within its constructs. The material is timeless, the lesson universal, the appeal largely insular. For who can inhabit our minds as tightly as we can? Whom can delve and procure and seal the strengths and weaknesses of the protagonist or the beauty of the symbolic language as well as a reader can?
Of course, it is wise to guide the ourselves in our youth to the wise tomes of literary tomes, filled with adventure, torrid love and bristling mystery. Our need to sequester ourselves anew to search the pages of our favorite book bring us a certain joy and appeal that none other can offer. But there remains a world within that none can tap unless they too have found the great treasure of the book that beckons to us all, yet many times goes unheeded.
Great literary tales no longer only fall from the arms of the dead white male. There are numerous women and men of color and ethnic diversity dedicated to refreshing the worn pages anew with their views on love and safety, religion and philosophical inquiry who have much to say in their literary voices. Many come from genre based writing, but attempt to cross over to the world of the literary flaneur.
Recording 1001 Books to Read before your Die, Boxall brings us small excerpts and twinges of plot in order to entice us to look upon some of the more "worthy" reads on their list, while many would agree that simply reading a book, no matter the type, is a worthwhile venture. How can one argue with that when it is something I wish to encourage many to do who would are enticed to open books for any reason, even educational ones.
Reading is underrated and in desperate need of a rejuvenation plan. To read the papers of non-readers is to see the dullard language that cannot come alive on the page, as the writer does not understand the syntax of sentences or appreciate the juxtaposition of words on a page. The material reads like a child's scrawl, loosely resembling some kind of third grade essay of what they did on their summer vacation, sans the colorful voice children usually bring to the writing essay!
Find the time to become a bibliophile, a reading aficionado, one who relishes words and phrases, ideas and critically thinks about what it is they believe and value, not taking others words only as defense. For how can we say we have lived if we cannot even explain how it is we think, and how can we think if we are not exposed to great books, and how can we be exposed to great books if we do not read?
Crossing to Safety-Wallace Stegner.
Wallace Stegner was a modern day literary writer who wrote about 15 books and stories during his lifetime. One such story was "Crossing to Safety". This story has been found to be literary in its superb writing about nothing much in particular and everything in general, written in an easy and appealing style.
One need not read Shakespeare in order to read literary fiction! I am amazed by students who refer to ole William as the only thing they think of when literature is mentioned! This could not be further from the truth. Sure, Will Shakespeare is a great writer. Ok, lets move on now and say that there are many other authors with who you could turn that would be just as great and even more "accessible" to the reader than Will. Stegner is one such author, although I could name dozens and dozens. To say that this or any other piece of literature will capture the interest of all people, is foolish. But how is one to even know unless one tries to read such words written magnificently on a page and determine for themselves what it is they have gleaned from the experience.
As a reader of literature, I am ever searching for books that will broaden my experience, bring me to a place within myself that is new and unmapped and brings me a sense of understanding the world in its complexity. It may not be my world. but all of us live in a different world inside anyway, and to shine the light from the inside out, would be a most beautiful way to begin a new day.
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