In Writing

Don’t be afraid of the lost page
Or the skipped paragraph
Or the ending that breaks your heart

Just read

Don’t pick the safe stuff
The book on the lists
– not just that one, anyway –
But the one that promises to tell you a secret your heart thrills to recognize.

And don’t be afraid of the missed phone call
Or bus stop
Or TV show
All those things can come again, steps retraced, opportunities made up
But each book takes you down a path you’ve never been before
A path unlike any other, one which you co-create
The writer supplying the words
And you supplying the world, the imagination, the trust, the nerve to go along.

Love a line so much you wish it could be made solid so you could run it through your fingers again and again
Hate another
Have a spat with the author, throw the book across the room
Break up
Make up
Or not.
That’s fine too

School reading is over
Even if you’re still in school
Don’t let yourself be disengaged in your reading
Don’t resent the assignment
Read because your heart wills it
Because you jump into life, mind sharp and willing
Because you wrestle and disagree, because you’re open to getting beaten by a new idea
And the spent joy in that, your mind slowly grinding to a new way of thinking

Read because the world is vast
Bigger than you can ever hope to travel
And because the most interesting places are in other people’s imaginations

Read because you’re lonely and afraid
Because you want to drift inside another like a vapor
Because you want to be known by someone you will never meet
And see your sorrows writ upon the page
To watch them dissolve

Read for fun, read for laughs
Read for knowledge, read for gain
Read to learn what you don’t like just as much as what you do

Read to be a wizard, a pope, a financial analyst, a Victorian woman on a ship, a thief, a starship mechanic, the doctor who cures a plague
All while being you, in your living room.

Read for life
And you will never regret a moment of it.


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