Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.”
When we read, and when we write, we hold another human being close.
“All of us are so strange – me included. I was a character in a book, and now I’ve come out of the book and am talking and walking …. At the same time, it seems like the real me has become part of the book.”
Yet just as a reader may judge a book, a book can judge a reader.
When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it – or rather it is like living it. It makes reading so much more exciting, but I don’t suppose many people try to do it.
It’s as if every reader reads a different book. The book doesn’t realy happen until each of you cracks it open.
The book becomes part of the history of our self-understanding. The stories that mean most to us join the process by which we come to be securely our own.
Much of the pleasure of reading comes from the egotistical sense that we are clever enough to understand.
After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer’s breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer – perhaps more.
It’s that powerlessness that I want to help people break out of because I don’t accept it is inevitable in any circumstances. I think books can do that. They give you strength, they give you purpose, they give you hope.
There are times in our reading lives when a book dovetails so beautifully with what we need and who we are thatwe turn the last page and sook up, shiny-eyed, wondering how we had lived before finding it.
I’m starting to realize all readers are writing at least half the book they are reading. Maybe when I write I am responding to that childhood experience of reading, that unequivocal, sensuous absorption. I guess I found writing through reading.
All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world.
It’s the reader who has the relationship with the book. Readability is actually in your hands, not mine.
The words propose, and the reader’s imagination disposes.
Anyone who writes a book spins a web. Anyone who reads a book is struggling in a web.
I may set down a certain sentence, but how that sentence rings and resonates, the allusions it calls forth, the universe it brings into existence, depends as much on the reader as on me. All books are cooperative works-in-progress between writer and reader – but especially fiction, which depends on the reader agreeing to be brought into the world the writer is trying to suggest.
The reader needs to be connected to the book almost to the point that they lose their awareness that the book is a made thing
Even so, all readers make books over in their own image, and according to their own experience.