And, er, these stories about you...""Oh, all true. Most of them. A bit of exaggeration, but mostly true.""The one about the Citadel in Muntab and the Pash and the fish bone?""Oh, yes.""But how did you get in where half a dozen armed and trained men couldn't even - ?""I am a little man and I carry a broom," said Lu-Tze simply. "Everyone has some mess that needs clearing up. What harm is a man with a broom?""What? And that was it?""Well, the rest was a matter of cookery, really. The Pash was not a good man, but he was a glutton for his fish pie.""No martial arts?" said Lobsang."Oh, always a last resort. History needs shepherds, not butchers.""Do you know okidoki?""Just a lot of bunny-hops.""Shittake?""If I wanted to thrust my hand into hot sand I would go to the seaside.""Upsidazi?""A waste of good bricks.""No kando?""You made that one up.
You know that frustrating feeling of losing the page in your book? You didn't want to go too far ahead and spoil the surprise, and you didn't want to go too far back, so you kind of stagnated and started from a page that didn't seem quite right, but you read it a few times just to convince yourself... That was how I felt about my life. A little lost, I guess you could say.
An editor doesn't just read, he reads well, and reading well is a creative, powerful act. The ancients knew this and it frightened them. Mesopotamian society, for instance, did not want great reading from its scribes, only great writing. Scribes had to submit to a curious ruse: they had to downplay their reading skills lest they antagonize their employer. The Attic poet Menander wrote: "those who can read see twice as well." Ancient autocrats did not want their subjects to see that well. Order relied on obedience, not knowledge and reflection. So even though he was paid to read as much as write messages, the scribe's title cautiously referred to writing alone (scribere = "to write"); and the symbol for Nisaba, the Mesopotamian goddess of scribes, was not a tablet but a stylus. In his excellent book A History of Reading, Alberto Manguel writes, "It was safer for a scribe to be seen not as one who interpreted information, but who merely recorded it for the public good."In their fear of readers, ancients understood something we have forgotten about the magnitude of readership. Reading breeds the power of an independent mind. When we read well, we are thinking hard for ourselves—this is the essence of freedom. It is also the essence of editing. Editors are scribes liberated to not simply record and disseminate information, but think hard about it, interpret, and ultimately, influence it.
In reading a novel, any novel, we have to know perfectly well that the whole thing is nonsense, and then, while reading, believe every word of it. Finally, when we're done with it, we may find - if it's a good novel - that we're a bit different from what we were before we read it, that we have changed a little... But it's very hard to say just what we learned, how we were changed.
We just really want people to enjoy themselves because that's how we live. We like to have a good time. While you're enjoying yourself, talk to our people, establish a relationship, make a new friend. And who knows? That person might be someone you can deal with five or 10 years down the line.
If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? IF HE HAS SPOKEN, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE NOT CONVINCED?
Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.
I haven't read much, but it still seems impossible to me that anyone, no matter how much he read, could've read every book in the world. There must be so many of them, and I don't mean every single book, good and bad, just the good ones. There must be stacks of them! Enough that you could spend twenty-four hours a day reading! And that's not to mention the bad ones, since there must be more bad ones than good ones, and at least a few of those, like anything, must be good and worth reading.
But just as we can all agree on what is red, even if we will never know if we each see it in the same way, so we can all agree - can’t we? - that no matter how confident we may appear to others, inside we are all sobbing, scared and uncertain for much of the time. Or perhaps it’s just me.Oh God, perhaps it really is just me.Actually it doesn’t really matter, when you come to think of it. If it is just me, then you are reading the story of some weird freak. You are free to treat this book like science fiction, fantasy or exotic travel literature. Are there really men like Stephen Fry on this planet? Goodness, how alien some people are. And if I am not alone, then neither are you, and hand in hand we can marvel together at the strangeness of the human condition.
You read a book for the story, for each of its words," Gordy said, "and you draw your cartoons for the story, for each of the words and images. And, yeah, you need to take that seriously, but you should also read and draw because really good books and cartoons give you a boner."I was shocked:"Did you just say books should give me a boner?""Yes, I did.""Are you serious?""Yeah... don't you get excited about books?""I don't think that you're supposed to get THAT excited about books.""You should get a boner! You have to get a boner!" Gordy shouted. "Come on!"We ran into the Reardan High School Library."Look at all these books," he said."There aren't that many," I said. It was a small library in a small high school in a small town."There are three thousand four hundred and twelve books here," Gordy said. "I know that because I counted them.""Okay, now you're officially a freak," I said."Yes, it's a small library. It's a tiny one. But if you read one of these books a day, it would still take you almost ten years to finish.""What's your point?""The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don't know."Wow. That was a huge idea.Any town, even one as small as Reardan, was a place of mystery. And that meant Wellpinit, the smaller, Indian town, was also a place of mystery."Okay, so it's like each of these books is a mystery. Every book is a mystery. And if you read all of the books ever written, it's like you've read one giant mystery. And no matter how much you learn, you keep on learning so much more you need to learn.""Yes, yes, yes, yes," Gordy said. "Now doesn't that give you a boner?""I am rock hard," I said.
I think I just said it, but I think it’s worth repeating. They gave me hope that there is good in the world out there. There really is. It really does exist. Regardless of how bad things can be, and how down on your luck you can be, or how bad your trust is broken when it comes to warming up to people and all that stuff, I know that there’s people out there that genuinely wanna help. Putting yourself in that position is a huge step, and it’s a very risky and fragile step, but it’s also a step that needs to be taken because there is help. And you can get through something like this. You really can. - Jim, from "To the Survivors
I feel good with my husband: I like his warmth and his bigness and his being-there and his making and his jokes and stories and what he reads and how he likes fishing and walks and pigs and foxes and little animals and is honest and not vain or fame-crazy and how he shows his gladness for what I cook him and joy for when I make him something, a poem or a cake, and how he is troubled when I am unhappy and wants to do anything so I can fight out my soul-battles and grow up with courage and a philosophical ease. I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body-shop to do just that. What is only pieces, doled out here and there to this boy and that boy, that made me like pieces of them, is all jammed together in my husband. So I don't want to look around any more: I don't need to look around for anything.
Digging that hole just to see if you are strong enough to climb out of it is a trait we as humans have developed to put meaning and purpose in our lives. But when you get tired of digging and climbing, you realize that life has no purpose. We constantly search for a way to win the 'Game of Life' until we realize it is impossible. Life is a game no one can win. I wish there was a point where someone (God) handed us an award and said 'Good Job, you won. Now move on to the next step'. This is why I believe life is missing purpose, meaning, and a goal. I also believe that is why we as humans get caught up in games, competition, sports, religion, and even war. These are all events that will come to an end with a winner and a loser. They are definite and absolute, they fill that void we have in our lives. Some could argue that life is definite and absolute, and I would agree, however, how do you win? Fun, Love, Money, Power, Prestige? All of these disappear when we die, thus removing all meaning and purpose. So cheer on your favorite team, challenge someone to a game of chess, and pray to God for redemption, but know why you do it. Be real with yourself, because you are scared, seeking purpose, and stuck playing a game you cannot win.
So, explain this," Avery said, "You just, what, hang around the Academy all day? Are you trying to redo your high school experience?" "Nothing to redo," said Adrian loftily. "I totally ruled my high school. I was worshiped and adored—not that that should come as a shock." Beside him, Christian nearly choked on his food. "So. . .You're trying to relive your glory days. It's all gone downhill since then, huh?" "No way," said Adrian. "I'm like a fine wine. I get better with age. The best is yet to come.""Seems like it'd get old after a while," said Avery, "I'm certainly bored, and I even spend part of the day helping my dad." "Adrian sleeps most of the day," noted Lissa, "So he doesn't actually have to worry about finding things to do." "Hey, I spend a good portion of my time helping you unravel the mysteries of spirit," Adrian reminded her. "And," he added, "I can visit people in their dreams."Christian held up a hand. "Stop. I can feel there's a comment coming on about how women already dream about you. I just ate, you know." "I wasn't going to go there," said Adrian. But he kind of looked like he wished he'd thought of the joke first.
..reading a book doesn’t mean just turning the pages. It means thinking about it, identifying parts that you want to go back to, asking how to place it in a broader context, pursuing the ideas. There’s no point in reading a book if you let it pass before your eyes and then forget about it ten minutes later. Reading a book is an intellectual exercise, which stimulates thought, questions, imagination.
Issib wasn't thrilled to see him. I'm busy and don't need interruptions." "This is the household library," said Nafai. "This is where we always come to do research." "See? You're interrupting already." "Look, I didn't say anything, I just came in here, and you started picking at me the second I walked in the door." "I was hoping you'd walk back out." "I can't. Mother sent me here." Nafai walked over behind Issib, who was floating comfortably in the air in front of his computer display. It was layered thirty pages deep, but each page had only a few words on it, so he could see almost everything at once. Like a game of solitaire, in which Issib was simply moving fragments from place to place. The fragments were all words in weird languages. The ones Nafai recognized were very old. "What language is that?" Nafai asked pointing, to one. Issib signed. "I'm so glad you're not interrupting me." "What is it, some ancient form of Vijati?" "Very good. It's Slucajan, which came from Obilazati, the original form of Vijati. It's dead now." "I read Vijati, you know." "I don't." "Oh, so you're specializing in ancient, obscure languages that nobody speaks anymore, including you?" "I'm not learning these languages, I'm researching lost words." "If the whole language is dead, then all the words are lost." "Words that used to have meanings, but that died out or survived only in idiomatic expressions. Like 'dancing bear.' What's a bear, do you know?" "I don't know. I always thought it was some kind of graceful bird." "Wrong. It's an ancient mammal. Known only on Earth, I think, and not brought here. Or it died out soon. It was bigger than a man, very powerful. A predator." "And it danced?" "The expression used to mean something absurdly clumsy. Like a dog walking on its hind legs." "And now it means the opposite. That's weird. How could it change?" "Because there aren't any bears. THe meaning used to be obvious, because everybody knew a bear and how clumsy it would look, dancing. But when the bears were gone, the meaning could go anywhere. Now we use it for a person who's extremely deft in getting out of an embarrassing social situation. It's the only case that we use the word bear anymore. And you see a lot of people misspelling it, too." "Great stuff. You doing a linguistics project?" "No." "What's this for, then?" "Me." "Just collection old idioms?" "Lost words." "Like bear? The word isn't lost, Issya. It's the bears that are gone." "Very good, Nyef. You get full credit for the assignment. Go away now.
They must talk to each other directly, Ender, mind to mind. What one thinks, another can also think; what one remembers, another can also re-member. Why would they ever develop language? Why would they ever learn to read and write? How would they know what reading and writing were if they saw them? Or signals? Or numbers? Or anything that we use to communicate? This isn’t just a matter of translating from one language to another. They don’t have a language at all. We used every means we could think of to communicate with them, but they don’t even have the machinery to know we’re signaling. And maybe they’ve been trying to think to us, and they can’t understand why we don’t respond.