Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul... Joyce Carol Oates
- Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul... Joyce Carol Oates
Ever since I was able to read...
Run, run, run.
Oh, oh, oh.
Funny, funny Spot"
...and was able to laugh at the drawings of that little black and white dog with the pink tongue and floppy ears fleeing from a leaping frog, ever since I put those words together in my mind and was able to read a whole sentence and attach it to a reality that I experienced, reading has been the most consistent and enduring passion of my life. It has added an unfathomable dimension to what I have been able to experience on this planet, and at virtually no charge.
I've fought in wars and been both wounded and physically unscathed; I've spent time on Kon-tiki and in the spring with other Mountain Men raising hell at our yearly rendezvous; have travelled through the world by every conceivable conveyance and have blasted into outer space and voyaged into the depths of the sea; have had myriad companions--and lovers--and a multitude of children and relatives, have been married to women and men--old and young, of all races; have trained dogs and horses and circus animals, have lived on farms and in cities, in slums, caves, and skyscrapers; have painted landscapes and portraits, conducted choruses and written symphonies and sung arias; have made earth-shattering scientific discoveries in the lab and observatory, done micro-surgery in a hospital, eaten and cooked gourmet meals in New York and Paris, climbed Everest and Kilimanjaro, sailed solo around the world, and lived in the past-present-future; have survived in the heat of the jungle and the cold of the Arctic, flown Spitfires, supersonic planes and spacecraft, driven racing cars and covered wagons, vanquished indians and Nazis and barbarians; I have spent time with ghosts and goblins, giants and trolls, as well as animals that knew how to talk and had feelings like mine; played and coached all sports at all levels, have pondered the mysteries of the universe, and considered the existence and the history of almost everything. I have vicariously experienced and deeply felt the full range of human emotions, whether admirable or despicable, and experienced all five senses as if there were real. I have been a hero, a villain, and a nobody--and all of this without leaving my chair.
What a gift I have been given! What pleasure I have had in bookstores and in libraries, cruising the stacks, searching microfilm and microfiche, and now on my computer searching the world's repositories for any and everything that can be captured digitally.
From those first simple moments with Dick, Jane, and Spot, reading has enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams.... and, as a virtually free supplement, also embellished my nights with some pretty wild dreams along the way.