Sunday, December 28, 2014

The simple, complex explosive power of a book

It’s easy these days to be distracted from the simple, complex explosive power of a book by all the more glamorous-seeming novelties winking around us. A YouTube video seems to bring Cuba home to us more vividly than any travel book could do. Tweets and updates and Instagrams flood in on us at such a rate that we hardly have time to sink into the private cathedrals of space and light erected by Henry James or Proust. The world is in such a rush right now that it’s tempting to think that it’s more important to be up-to-the-microsecond, on top of things, with the latest news streaming into one’s palm than in fact what renders us richest and most attractive as humans, the spacious, deepening, timeless world of books.
---Pico Iyer


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