The state in which I traverse the time during the reading of such books is so intensely, densely excited that I must put down the fork before my mind gets stretch marks. I look up from the book and out at the chicken coop, hummingbird feeder, garden, pond and respond to the evocation of each by feeding, watering, weeding, petting and pondering in this new light. If I’m reading at my desk I look up at the monitor and begin another hand of solitaire which lately I’ve seen as the shuffled code of ACGTs combining in DNA chains to form the perfect organism of Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds in order.
This being able to get up after a few bites of a meal and walk around to aid digestion out in the context of the real world before returning to continue the meal is the exponentially more beneficial quality of reading over being informed by entertainment, whose weighing against reality must wait until after a conclusion is drawn. The efficacy of this comparison is evidenced to me by the fact that upon a second sitting for movies I can often find a completely different meaning in or take on it. Upon second readings, the benefit of books is an enhancement rather than an alteration of the original meanings.
None of this is to say that any interpretation of another’s art is less valid or viable for one’s life for being other than the artist’s intent. This inevitable variation of interpreted meanings is magic that keeps DNA from building machines instead of we organisms operating by evanescent purpose.
Noting the date I must mention:
9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB!!