The Isolating Experience of Reading

experience-of-finishing-a-bookThe image to the left made me chuckle. I can certainly relate to the experience. As a person who probably reads about 100+ times more words than I speak, I live a lot of my life on the pages of a book.

For example, I recently read a few books related to Nazi Germany and World War II, and had to resist bringing those topics up in conversation with friends and colleagues. I lived in that world (via imagination) for several months, and was profoundly moved by the stories of evil, weakness, heroism, etc.

I think reading is similar to traveling in that, for example, it’s a little douchy to say “When I visited Chichen Itza last year, I was amazed at the depth of civilization that existed in North America over a thousand years ago.” There is a fascinating discussion there, but it might drown in the fact that most people don’t know what or where Chichen Itza is, nor do they need to in order to have an interesting conversation with me about the rise and fall of great societies in history.

The challenge of “traveling” through books is to take from those travels what I can, but return back and live fully in the present day reality.

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