I’m not a disciplined or systematic reader. I’ll read just about anything that catches my eye. Most of the time the books I read have nothing to do with improving myself. I mean if I’m happy why would I look for a book to make me happier? Sometimes when I’m walking through a bookstore I’ll stumble across a book that may change me in a trivial way but later, when I’ve thought about it in a more significant way.
When I was younger my constant companions were books about strong, inventive women like, Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, women who made a difference in the world. Now I read books that politically affect our lives and compare them with historical books from the past, for example: The White Rose, Kill the Indian, and Save the Man. Those comparisons help me be wary of rhetoric that sounds almost too good to be true.
I’m reminded that reading a book regardless of the grim realities, there is always an affirmation of life. This affirmation lies in the way the author takes control of the retelling in their own way.
Reading books isn’t just a reset and recharge, it isn’t just how I escape. Books help me further engage with people and life.
Books remain one of the strongest ways we have to prevent tyranny but only as long as free people are allowed to read different kinds of books. A right to read whatever you want, whenever you want is a fundamental right that helps preserve all other rights. But reading isn’t just a strike against intolerance and narrowness, mind control and domination: it’s also one of the world’s greatest joys.