An Affinity

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies […] The man who never reads lives only one.” George R. R. Martin – A Dance of Dragons

It is becoming a more frequent occurrence on the tube that I look around and see the person in front of me or beside me reading a paper novel rather than a kindle. In that moment I try to, as unobtrusively as possible, take a glance at the binding or the top of the page and discover what that particular person is reading. With a kindle you see, it is much harder to uncover their choice of book. You can be reading whatever you like on a kindle but a paper book tells you a little bit about a person. Sometimes I wonder whether they’re doing the same as me, peering to see what I’m reading in order to discover a new book to read or acknowledge a book they’ve already read. Whether it’s the latter or the former there’s something satisfying in seeing someone lose themselves in that history, that poem, that novel. When I see said person reading Game of Thrones I think to myself, you lucky thing, you have no idea what’s about to happen. When I see a person reading Richardson’s Pamela, I acknowledge that they must be a university student, forcing themselves to reach the end without falling asleep.

There are books others read where you can’t help but feel a certain affinity to them, Harry Potter for example or Pride and Prejudice. Novels you hope they’re reading for the first time and are partially jealous that you’ll never have that moment again but, happy that you can always indulge in a second reading. Avid readers out there, remember when you read a certain novel that completely transported you to that other city, country or world? That is why I read. That is why every day I consume as many pages from my book that I can. That is why I am not a snob when it comes to reading literature. If it is a novel that helps you to diverge from the life you lead and empathise with another life or world then that novel has completed its mission, its goal.

I’ve started this blog not because I believe people actually want to read my thoughts, but because I read so many books and lend so many books to friends, it seemed about time I shared my love of literature with others who might share this love.


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