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Morning Coffee-Do Books Matter?

EA5C8461-C1FE-41B9-92C5-AC546D817C70Why do books matter? I’m not sure that I’m an authority here, but I’ll offer my ideas in the hope that they make sense when read by another person.

I heard some time ago that the reason people couple up and are social is not because we need a partner, but because we need someone to witness our lives. In short, we need someone to know that we were here, that we existed. I think of reading in much the same way. We read in order to bear witness to someone’s words. Even in the most outrageous fiction, the reader is offering some kind of validation to the thoughts of the author. And what is the point of writing (or speaking, even) if there is no one to read it? Of course there is entertainment in what we read, but in the end, I read because I crave the understanding of other people’s lives. How did they live? What did they do? What did they believe? Reading gives me the validation that I’m not crazy and that other people might feel the same way I do.

Because it is a solitary action, reading is very personal. It can take you outside of reality and then just as quickly snap you back into it. However, as much as books and reading allow us to have an individual reaction, they can also bring people together. If friends can discuss why they relate to books (or any other media, I guess), it gives them the opportunity to show someone they existed, that they too had thoughts and feelings.

I do not consider myself a writer of any traditional sort, but in reading the books I read, maintaining this blog, and meeting the people who follow along, I have found a way to connect to other human beings. Therefore, I hope I have proven that what we all have to say is not only important, but quite valid. Basically, it’s proof that we exist.
So now I ask you: Do books matter? Why?

(This was taken from another intelligent blog)

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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2009 at 2:19 am and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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