The novel is dead. The book now dwells in a deep grave, covered by the dirt thrown on it by the Facebook app on your smartphone, by that Snapchat message you just got and by that 17-hour Netflix binge. Right?
Because for some of us… the book is the pinnacle of it all.
Here’s a quote from Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, which I just started this afternoon and already has me wishing I’d read it sooner.
Because for some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. They are full of all the things that you don’t get in real life – wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. And the quality of attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of a day but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention, and this is a great gift. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean. Aren’t you? I ask.
Well? Aren’t you?