Quote on books

Photo credit: d3designs from
In its silence, a book is a challenge: it can't lull you with surging music or deafen you with screeching laugh tracks or fire gunshots in your living room; you have to listen to it in your head. A book won't move your eyes for you the way images on a screen do. It won't move your mind unless you give it your mind, or your heart unless you put your heart in it ... To read a story well is to follow it, to act it, to feel it, to become it--everything short of writing it, in fact. Reading is not interactive with a set of rules or options, as games are; reading is actual collaboration with the writer's mind. No wonder not everyone is up to it.
The book itself is a curious artifact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn’t have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable. If a book told you something when you were fifteen, it will tell it to you again when you’re fifty, though you may understand it so differently that it seems you’re reading a whole new book.
This is crucial, the fact that a book is a thing, physically there, durable, indefinitely reusable, an object of value.

~ Ursula K. Le Guin

No comments:

Post a Comment