…books are as important as almost anything else on earth.

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

In a very simplistic way I was thinking of this last night, as my mind was spinning with work-related ideas, and I was trying to grasp them before they spun away into the ether and eluded me today during my writing time.

I knew that I needed to shut it down if I was going to be any good today – if I was going to make good use of those ideas that I had.

And so I escaped into a book.

A fluffy book, but one that I dove into and that took me away from my small apartment, quieted my mind, and reminded me to look up and out.

I spend a lot of time in introspection, thinking, reading. I don’t spend a lot of time looking up and out. Books are one way my mind travels, goes elsewhere.

As a child, I fell into books.

Or, as Rebecca Solnit more eloquently wrote, “…I disappeared into books when I was very young…” (from her essay Flight)

My childhood favorites are still my favorites. For the last … many years (I can remember at least 3 houses / apartments, so that means it’s been at least 5 years), I have been doing a sustained rereading of my childhood favorites. CS Lewis, Anne of Green Gables, The Dark is Rising, Harry Potter (of course), the Wrinkle in Time trilogy. I hope to move on to the Golden Compass next. Right now, I’m working through the Austin novels by Madeline L’Engle, as it’s her 100th birthday this year. 
Every evening, I am reminded of how deeply I can fall into one of those books, or one of countless others. 
I feel almost sorry for those who don’t have this escape hatch. My spouse is one. He’s not a reader – he’s a scroller and TV watcher. It’s just not the same. I cannot lose myself in the internet, nor can I lose myself in a show or movie. I know others can, but I cannot. 
Reading is essential to me… like water, like air. To me, they are a miracle. 

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