We read to know that we are not alone.

5 Nov

Since I can remember, I have been drawn to the world of fiction. As a child, I had an insatiable appetite for reading. I spent most of my days, tucked up in my room with my nose in a book. Lacking any initiative to make friends, or play sports, I found nothing as enchanting as losing myself in a narrative. Possessing no social skills, I took comfort in the idea that reading allowed me to share in a communal experience, without having to actually brush elbows with a fellow human being. Like T.S. Eliot said: We read to know that we are not alone. This has been true in my case for as far back as I can remember. As it is for plenty of others I am sure. As I entered my adolescent years, I was still terribly fond of the fictional narrative. I thought there was nothing more brilliant than inventing a world where the line between truth and fiction could forever be blurred. And as much as I enjoyed the creative freedom of fiction, I especially loved trying to suss out the autobiographical aspects of the plot. Writers write what they know. Fiction is almost always based in reality, and as far fetched as the plot may seem, there are always traits and dressings that stem from a familiar place. Finding these ‘truths’ was essential, as these were the bits that as a reader I was able to relate to. These recognizable features are what drew me in, and kept me in. Being socially inept, and knowing that others were experiencing the same kinds of plights and joys as me, was what kept me connected to my peers in a way that no other creative outlet could. Eventually, the fictional narrative was not enough, and I started to build my own narrative with others that shared my passion for books. As much as reading allowed me to live inside my head, it is also responsible for catapulting me into the real world. It inspired me to form relationships with others, and lent me an articulacy in my own use of language that bred confidence in me. I also owe my current role as a literary agent to that fictional realm that played such a pivotal role in my formative years. In my life, my affair with literature has always been all-consuming. At the end of my days; however burdened I am with regrets, I can safely say that this love affair with books will not be one of them.


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