Just the headline here was enough to stop me cold: “When Books Could Change Your Life.” When? Like, meaning a specific chronological moment? Meaning a process that stops?
If I thought that was really true, I’d jump off a bridge. My thinking, the way I view the world, react to the world – my life – continues to be changed by the books I read. Not every book, but then, back at 8, 10, 12 years old, not every book did it for me either. (Right now it’s Rimbaud’s poetry that’s turning me deliciously inside out.)
But if you stop changing in response to what you read…? Maybe you’re just sipping stuff that can’t make you shiver, laugh, retch, whatever. Maybe you’re immune to whatever it is you’re in the habit of sampling. Maybe you need to find a new vintage, need to get totally drunk on words again.
(Also, I don’t at all agree that Ulysses is “better” than The Velveteen Rabbit, but let’s don’t mess with that now.)