One of the most important benefits of reading books is self-affirmation. Writing is one of the oldest forms of storing ideas in history, and it’s thus that reading is one of the doorways into accessing one of the largest repositories of people and experiences spanning across the times. Part of the importance– and fun– of reading is that we find people and experiences that are out of the ordinary from our own circumstances. Their very appeal is that they are different from what we consider our norm. In some ways, they would be out of place in our time, in our context.
At least, that’s the initial connection we have to them. One might think that their uniqueness is what draws us too them– but I hold that it’s what we hold in common about their uniqueness that really draws us to them. Because when do we ever feel at home in this time, in this context anyway? Maybe we aren’t vampire hunters, political figures, war heroes, or just people who are rich and famous– but something about what these people and their experiences is something that appeals to who we might be.
Whenever someone writes something, they are not telling you the truth. They are telling you what they want to be the truth. They are as much trying to convince you as they are themselves. And that’s why no relationship with a book’s characters or experiences can really be impossible– because to begin with, we’re interfacing with ideas, ideas that are beyond our existences. We might not live them out physically, but our alignment to them is at the cores of our beings. In that way, what we are finding unique in books are things only superficially so– at their cores, we’re resonating with that which we recognize as our values.
That isn’t to say that we never see anything in a book that outside of the scope of what is already in our mind– but what I’m saying is that, if want to talk about relationships and experiences, these aren’t things that can be approached any way but hollistically. So it’s not important to think about the facts, like scalar bits of data, but rather, as vectors quantities, whose importances are in their direction.