In preparation for next week’s journey I bought a book.
I would have got it from the library, but they didn’t have it. I read so many books that i have to be incredibly self-discipled about not acquiring too many.
I have begun to mourn the books I have read. It is getting harder to find good books to read.
But today, as I bought Speak, Memory by Nabakov, I was mourning that i would actually be able to read it. Anticipating what a good book it will be keeps it always in the possibility. But reading it destroys forever my ideas about what it might be.
Then I must grapple with what it is.
It is said that the reader is a very important part of the life of a book. Writing it is only part.
As AGONIZING a part as the writing of it is, it is only a part. The reading is the other part. It is a collaborative effort. I write my book, and you others read it. When I have shared my writing with others, they often understand it to mean something I had never thought of. It is a collaboration of creating meaning.
Knowing that, I feel almost as if I am destroying the book by experiencing it.
That reminds me of a scientific principle, whose name i forgot. About how an observed particle behaves differently because of the observation.
that the very act of watching a supposedly inanimate object changes it’s behaviour.
so….by reading a book I change it. and in a way, I feel, I destroy it.
I have destroyed hundreds…thousands, perhaps, of books by reading them. Like a ravenous dragon, I tear through them and leave their half-consumed carcasses in a trail behind me creating a never-ending path of carnage.
I may be unworthy of these books, treating them without respect.
But then again, I do at least give them the respect of reading them.