Monday, 24 February 2014
184/111 - I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
I downloaded this collection of essays after reading a snippet of one somewhere else and decided that they might be nice and insightful to read. The passage which initially enchanted me was about "rapture of the deep", and I read the entire essay and it was wonderful. This is the passage which was really magical:
"There's something called rapture of the deep, and it refers to what happens when a deep-sea diver sends too much time at the bottom of the ocean and can't tell which way is up. When he surfaces, he's liable to have a condition called the bends, where the body can't adapt to the oxygen levels in the atmosphere. All this happens to me when I surface from a great book."
Here is another from a different essay entitled Blind as a Bat:
"Reading is one of the main things I do. Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on…Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss."
What I really love about these two passages is that they totally sum up how I feel about reading. When I'm reading something good, something really good, it's almost like I'm having an affair, or that I have an exciting secret. Or that I'm falling in love. I think about the book all the time; I look forward to when I can next spend time with the book; I want to go to bed with the book; I want to tell everyone around me about it and I don't understand how people can be walking around not in the same obsessive haze as me. When I'm not reading a good book, or when I am reading something very bad, much like a bad date, I don't want to read any more books for a little while while I get over the trauma of the previous one. When I start to read a book and I am not totally enthralled by it, I feel horribly disappointed and cheated.
Books bring meaning to my life. I don't know what I would do without them. I spend my waking moments either reading them or thinking about reading them, and fewer of those moments writing about them. I think this might be a topic that requires some further dissection, so watch this space.