‘Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.’
- Marcel Proust, Time Regained
Literature changes our experiences of time and is our weapon against hectic Mondays and the dilemmas of everyday life. Let's picture literature as an image of our own imagination, a collective image of all our ideas, dreams and thoughts. Now imagine that you can control this image in your mind and that every day it can be navigated in a different direction leading to different places. The moment we begin our journey through the world of books we have already escaped our chaotic reality and are walking through the depths of the enchanting spirituality that literature presents to us. Stories offer us insight into a range of emotions and events that would take years of experience to access in the real world. It presents us with infinitely more situations than we can actually face in real life. Literature gives us the opportunity to explore a thousand different worlds through books. As we come to know more about the lives of fictional characters by reading, so too do we come to a better understanding of ourselves each time we open a new book. The more books that pass through our hands, the more we develop our tastes in literature and our understanding of the world.
As the great writer, Marcel Proust said, ‘Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade.’ It is very important to know our desires well and to explore them – this is one of the things reading teaches, one drop in an ocean of lessons.
If we remain absorbed only in the external world, enjoying only material gains driven by the thirst for possession, then we would be lost. It is for this reason that reading is something essential to our growth as individuals as well as for the enrichment of our spirituality.
Whenever we feel exhausted by the world around us, books are waiting on the shelf quietly whispering to us: ‘Open me. I am your salvation!’ As soon as we do, a world opens up before us in which we can be everyone and everything and, at the same time, no one and nothing. We can be observers, but we can also be the main characters in the story. The choice is ours.
Reading is a cure for loneliness. We are stranger than we want to admit. We often can't say what we actually think and feel. In books, however, we find accurate descriptions of who we really are. Surely, it has happened to everyone to read a book in one breath and, after finishing it, be left with the feeling that the writer had managed to take the reader to another dimension. Writers know how to look inside the human soul and how to open our hearts and minds, giving us a map of our inner worlds so we can journey without getting confused.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if a secret path could take you to the realm of your soul, where there is no trace of external chaos? We have all lost ourselves more than once in the chaotic days of our busy lives. There is not a single person who has not, at least once, said ‘stop’ to the whirlwind of tasks, work meetings and shopping. Literature will forever remain our guide and lead us to unknown dimensions, filled with endless excitement and breath-taking stories. Reading gives us new eyes with which to see the world by connecting us to the magic of words.