For the tie-breaker, we go to the books and it’s broken down into runners to third, runners to second, runners to first and hits. We were tied at third base 5-5, then won it 7-5 at second.
The books we love offer a sketch of a whole universe that we secretly inhabit, and in which we desire the other person to assume a role.One of the conditions of happy romantic compatibility is, if not to have read the same books, to have read at least some books in common with the other person—which means, moreover, to have non-read the same books. From the beginning of the relationship, then, it is crucial to show that we can match the expectations of our beloved by making him or her sense the proximity of our inner libraries.
To speak without shame about books we haven’t read, we would thus do well to free ourselves of the oppressive image of cultural literacy without gaps, as transmitted and imposed by family and school, for we can strive toward this image for a lifetime without ever managing to coincide with it.
Curiously enough, one cannot read a book: one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader. And I shall tell you why. When we read a book for the first time the very process of laboriously moving our eyes from left to right, line after line, page after page, this complicated physical work upon the book, the very process of learning in terms of space and time what the book is about, this stands between us and artistic appreciation. When we look at a painting we do not have to move our eyes in a special way even if, as in a book, the picture contains elements of depth and development. The element of time does not really enter in a first contact with a painting. In reading a book, we must have time to acquaint ourselves with it. We have no physical organ (as we have the eye in regard to a painting) that takes in the whole picture and then can enjoy its details. But at a second, or third, or fourth reading we do, in a sense, behave towards a book as we do towards a painting. However, let us not confuse the physical eye, that monstrous masterpiece of evolution, with the mind, an even more monstrous achievement. A book, no matter what it is—a work of fiction or a work of science (the boundary line between the two is not as clear as is generally believed)—a book of fiction appeals first of all to the mind. The mind, the brain, the top of the tingling spine, is, or should be, the only instrument used upon a book.
Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.
A book won't move your eyes for you like TV or a movie does. A book won't move your mind unless you give it your mind, or your heart unless you put your heart in it. It won't do the work for you. To read a good novel well is to follow it, to act it, to feel it, to become it—everything short of writing it, in fact. Reading is a collaboration, an act of participation. No wonder not everybody is up to it.
I've been very influenced by folklore, fairy tales, and folk ballads, so I love all the classic works based on these things -- like George Macdonald's 19th century fairy stories, the fairy poetry of W.B. Yeats, and Sylvia Townsend Warner's splendid book The Kingdoms of Elfin. (I think that particular book of hers wasn't published until the 1970s, not long before her death, but she was an English writer popular in the middle decades of the 20th century.)I'm also a big Pre-Raphaelite fan, so I love William Morris' early fantasy novels.Oh, and "Lud-in-the-Mist" by Hope Mirrlees (Neil Gaiman is a big fan of that one too), and I could go on and on but I won't!
It’s much easier to remember the World Series heroics of Tony Pérez, Pete Rose, and Joe Morgan than it is to recall who set the table for Rose during Game 7 of the 1975 World Series vs. Boston. The Red Sox led 3-2 in the seventh when [Ken] Griffey drew a free pass. Not nearly as memorable as the home run Pérez hit against Bill Lee that made it a 3-2 ballgame, not nearly as memorable as the hit Rose got to tie the game, and for sure not as memorable as the hit Morgan got to win it in the ninth, but … it’s a shame people forget Griffey stole second base with two outs to get into scoring position.
I hope you have a book telling others how you do what you do. If you answered no, then I challenge you to spend the next couple of hours reading this book and then, in the next ten days implementing what you’ve learned here. When you realize the value of the impact your book will make, your decision to write will be a no-brainer! Using this very simple, powerful system you will soon be thinking about your second book, and third book. You will want to recruit your spouse, children and parents to write. You will understand that everyone has a unique voice whose legacy is to be forever captured in print. They key is to begin. Dreaming about getting started is not going to make it happen. Action is everything so make a promise to yourself to commit and take action.