A few years ago, while I was reading, If on a winter's night a traveler, the 1979 novel by Italo Calvino, a passage challenged me to define what it was that I loved so much about reading. Calvino writes,
“Your house, being the place in which you read, can tell us the position books occupy in your life, if they are a defense you set up to keep the outside world at a distance, if they are a dream into which you sink as if into a drug, or bridges you cast towards the outside, toward the world that interests you so much that you want to multiply and extend its dimensions through books.”
While there have been times that I have read to escape from the outside world, my primary reason for reading is to learn about people that I will never have the chance to meet and places that I will never be able to visit. I read to visit times gone by, as well as have experiences that I wouldn’t in the ordinary course of my life.
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