Books · Culture · Fiction

Is COVID-19 Driving You Nuts?

Me too.

I came across this in a blog I follow and it seemed to be good advice: It’s from The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang.

“Compare the difference between the life of a man who does no reading and that of a man who does. The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space. His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what happens in his immediate neighborhood. From this prison there is no escape. 

“But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world. This talker leads him on and carries him into a different country or a different age, or unburdens to him some of his personal regrets, or discusses with him some special line or aspect of life that the reader knows nothing about. An ancient author puts him in communion with a dead spirit of long ago, and as he reads along, he begins to imagine what that ancient author looked like and what type of person he was…. 

“Now to be able to live two hours out of twelve in a different world and take one’s thoughts off the claims of the immediate present is, of course, a privilege to be envied by people shut up in their bodily prison.”

And Closer to Home—from Reading and Rhyming by Herbert Knapp

The text of the poem:
No weed that grows, no chemical men cook
can alter my reality like a book.

2 thoughts on “Is COVID-19 Driving You Nuts?

  1. Kind of “Slack jawed” by the quote from “The Importance of Living” by Lin Yutang.

    Perhaps I read too much. I have started and stopped so many books I feel schizophrenic amongst the many worlds I’ve entered and abandoned.

    I blame my Kindle…

    Once upon a time the libraries would allow me only so many books. Now I’m inundated with text. I dislike watching news videos or listening to podcasts because I can read the written word so much faster AND trust my interpretations versus the prattling talkung heads.

    Perhaps I don’t read enough…

    Like

  2. I have spent a lot of time thinking about reading. My conclusion is that it is some kind of magic. The spells don’t always work, but when they do, it is wondrous.

    Like

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