A Passion for Books by Dale Salwak (eds.)

By Dale Salwak (eds.)

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If such a world has never come into being for you, as a reader, the effect of reading a few books - and no doubt good books - a bit later on in life, probably when you are a student, is very different. It produces an interest, not in the books themselves, but in yourself. And at the same time the student is reading the texts for his course, he or she is very likely concerned too with a course on writing. Do it yourself - 'creative' writing. And yet of course in most cases it is hardly creative but self-creative, self-absorbing, self-proclaiming.

In print - in actual print in those happily prudish times - it used the word 'jugs' to refer to a girl's breasts. ' Although I was never a good student, the University of Chicago did teach me which were the important books. I was, though, pleased to depart that exalted setting so that I might read, alongside all those great books, a number of merely good ones, of my own choosing and to be read in my own unsystematic way. My own unsystematic way included a few key motives, among them reading to discover what life was supposed to be like and how one was supposed to live it.

And the rest of it. O n the contrary. My motives in reading are thoroughly mixed, but pure pleasure is always high among them. I read for aesthetic pleasure. If anything, with the passing of years, I have become sufficiently the aesthetic snob so that I can scarcely drag my eyes across the pages of a badly or even pedestrianly written book. ' Along with the love of style, I read in the hope of laughter, exaltation, insight, enhanced consciousness, and dare I say it, wisdom; I read, finally, hoping to get a little smarter about the world.

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