Everyone else withers away into corpses, but a writer leaves behind a corpus. Reading is an act of timeless love.

JK Rowling twists my πŸ’œ, George RR Martin salts the wounds. I bleed willingly. I cried for Tonks, I cried for Ygritte. I can’t forgive Jon Snow. It’s hard to forgive someone you loved. Better to love a fictional character. Jupiter Jones, Sherlock Holmes & Spider Jerusalem. What flesh & blood man can compete? Give me a paper figure that says I hate it here & makes it sound like I love you.

Read because you must inhale before you can exhale. Hot breaths, nice words. Breathe with the greed of newborn baby. Let yourself be held in the embrace of pages, scream your hunger between sheets. A book will feed you. Heroes, goddesses, monsters & spaceships to munch. Asimov, Blyton & Dalrhymple serve you.

Read alone. You could fall in love on the first page. Do you want an audience? I fell for a book once with a man who broke my heart. Now Naiyyrah Waheed lives in my bedroom like an unwanted pregnancy. Each turn of phrase ends with his delighted I-see-too. I don’t want to share with one who walked away. Better to lose a person than a book. Why should my πŸ’“ be the price I pay for words? All is fair in love & reading.

Read because books are comfort & commiseration. Someone somewhere has seen your soul & documented in words. The right book is a lifelong teacher. Your flight instructor is an Afghani kite runner or a little prince. Treasures await at the end of monstrous tomes & dangerous subplots, behind twisted rhymes & seductive titles. Your soulmate is not a person, it’s a book. It’s not necrophilia when you’re making love to long dead writers.

Read what you hate. Do you know the colour, smell, texture of your hatred? Is it the sickly, benzene of Twilight series? The metallic tang of Murakami’s arsenic? Or a gravelly coughing fit of Tolstoy? If bile & venom be your feast, let Chuck Palahniuk be your chef.

Read because it lets you travel without moving a step & visit every continent without a visa. Every bookshop, every library, every place on the planet, that reveres words will feel like home.

🎢: SO WHAT-Miles Davis


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