Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm not a speed reader. I'm a speed understander.

 Did you ever repose in your rocking chair on a Sunday morning before 9:00 with bright yellow leaves outside the window of a room covered in dishes and syllabi and race hungrily through the last couple hundred pages of a book because of how good it was? Today I did.

 "Now and then there are readings that make the hairs on the neck, the non-existent pelt, stand on end and tremble, when every word burns and shines hard and clear and infinite and exact, like stones of fire, like points of stars in the dark--readings when the knowledge that we shall know the writing differently or better or satisfactorily, runs ahead of any capacity to say what we know, or how. In these readings, a sense that the text has appeared to be wholly new, never before seen, is followed, almost immediately, by the sense that it was always there, that we the readers, knew it was always there, and have always known it was as it was, though we have now for the first time recognised, become fully cognisant of, our knowledge."
--A.S. Byatt, Possession

(To everyone that has raised their hands in reader-friendship, thank you for your sweet words and camaraderie. Please accept this tingly bit of a book as a symbol of my love and affection. I hope it brings a lightness to your Monday that I know it will be bringing to mine.)


Haley said...

that's beautiful!

i love the moment of the chase, of discovering that the text is one step ahead of me, ready to tell me exactly what i've been trying to say for months or years or minutes...and it says it for me, but it says it and remains utterly silent, simultaneously. like the quote says, we knew it all along, the story is just brave enough to say it.

thanks for the quote, julie. s'wonderful!

Liesl said...

Oh, books. How wonderful they are.

E said...

I'm almost finished with a book right now and i'm going to need a new one that grabs my attention like this!

Mandy said...

It definitely brought light to mine. By the way - I finished Joy in the Morning! Such a perfect book for a newly wed. Thank you so much for it Julie!

Brittany said...

thank you. really.