Friday, May 7, 2010

Books speak like. . .

Yesterday I posted on Facebook how much I am enjoying "Falling Angels" by Tracy Chevalier and how she is one of my favorite authors. I added that as I'm reading this book, I'm wondering what it is about her writing that makes me like it so much. A friend commented that she does the same - and that she also wonders about books she doesn't like. Which made me realize - I always know why I DON'T like a book. Isn't that odd? What about you?
And then this morning I came across this writing by Thomas Merton (love him, btw)
"Books can speak to us like God, like men or like the noise of the city we live in. They speak to us like God when they bring us light and peace and fill us with silence., They speak to us like God when we desire to never leave them. They speak to us like men when we desire to hear them again. They speak to us like the noise of the city when they hold us captive by a weariness that tells us nothing, give us no peace, and no support, nothing to remember, and yet will not let us escape.
Books that speak like God speak with too much authority to entertain us. Those that speak like good men hold us by their human charm: we grow by finding ourselves in them. They teach us to know ourselves better by recognizing ourselves in another.
Books that speak like the noise of multitudes reduce us to despair by the sheer weight of their emptiness. They entertain us like the lights of the city streets at night, by hopes that cannot fulfill."
Wow - I can't even imagine having a mind that can think something like that up. And yet it resounds with me at so many junctures. How about you? Do you find anything worthwhile in these words of Merton? How do you choose what books you read? Does Merton's words spur you on to look at choosing books differently?

No comments: