It’s crucial to ask ourselves: «what for do we read?»; above all, we that read regularly. When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me a lot of stories; she really had a boundless imagination. She used to read to me stories too, and that taught me that books are an endless fountain of entertainment. But there was something more, a beautiful and deep hidden pleasure that woke reflection, which began to grow as I learned to read novels. I grew the habit of reading by myself, just for the pleasure of doing it; and I set out a major challenge: someday I would be the author of one of those wonderful books. So far I have published five books, and, even when I am not famous or best-selling author, it’s nice to know that what I’ve written has been done with authenticity.
I have come to notice that in the literary circles, people read to boast, to impress, to self-promote and even to seduce. Some men decide to call themselves poets to stand out from the crowd, and accumulate knowledge that comes from books to woo women. It’s extremely rare to find genuine literary talent. My words may be too harsh, but they come from observation and analysis of reality, from someone with more than a decade of experience in Literature in a serious way. Really, I don’t know what enviroment is worst, the one that involves politicians or writers. I should say, they are both full of opportunistic and malicious people. It’s a relieve that writing is a solitary activity by excellence; and you must not misunderstand the process of publishing, because you will need to arrange the presentation of your book, and it’s relevant to have a good relationship with colleagues, or have a lot of friends.
A few times I have found people that read for pleasure. Let´s remember Borges: «The verb ‘to read’, the verb ‘to love’ and the verb ‘to dream’ do not bear the ‘imperative mode’». I have questioned myself if I read and write because I need it to stay well or because I need to feel special. But a precocious calling couldn’t be the result of an impulse; there’s something sincere about it, a flame, a passion, for Literature. When I have no book to read, I get anxious, just like when one is thirsty or hungry. Would it be positive or negative? Time will say. At the moment I can say that I have found happiness submerged in a good book. And I must clarify, that I not only read Literature; Psychology fascinates me, and also I crave for Philosophy. What for?, well I feel an endless pleasure when doing it. So, do we read to entertain ourselves?, to think?, to boast?, to seduce? A lot of reasons that I consider valid and others, a little absurd. An intellectual man is really something curious, because I know most of them choose to be so to seduce women. Sometimes I find more attractive someone not so smart that recognizes he has read little, because at least he is genuine. In the past years I believed someone smarter than me would be the perfect match. I haven’t found that person, but I don’t see it that way anymore.
In general, to read has become a ritual of silence. Just like when we think, we alone listen to our thoughts and we maintain a conversation with ourselves. To read is to make a dialogue between us and the great inmortals of Art and Literature.
So, let’s read to be authentic and let’s be honest about our judgements, that way we’ll contribute to a better educated society, and our inner world will be enriched in a limitless way.
I hope you enjoyed reading this letter. I wish you a nice day and I expect to read you comments.