Bringing a book of your own to school was a no-no, and not to recess either, where you were supposed to be getting balls thrown at your head. Carrying a book was practically against the law at summer camp, where downtime was for forced mass song.
Books are how cautious kids get to experience a kind of secondhand rebellion, a safe way to go off the rails.
(Years later, the literary critic Liesl Schillinger would dub these “mumblenyms”—words mispronounced by heavy readers who’d encountered them only on the page.)
This is every reader’s catch-22: the more you read, the more you realize you haven’t read; the more you yearn to read more, the more you understand that you have, in fact, read nothing.
It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I understood it was okay and even right to read what you wanted rather than what you ought.
My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul
There was a universe inside every human being every bit as big as the universe outside them. Books were the best way Nina knew—apart from, sometimes, music—to breach the barrier, to connect the internal universe with the external, the words acting merely as a conduit between the two worlds.
The Bookshop on the Corner: A Novel by Jenny Colgan