Books scare me.
I realize this as I walk around the library on a free Sunday afternoon. I feel like an alien come to Earth. Or a stranger on a distant planet. Words come at me at a great speed and I begin to mentally wax philosophically on what books do to me.
They delight me.
They help me escape from the things that are on my mind.
They frighten me.
Oh boy, do they frighten me. Sometimes the words scare me off, because I instantly feel like a massive dumb-ass when I read them. It’s like I’ll never be good enough to understand this book.
Writers scare me too.
Some of them are nice and comforting and actually really lovely to discover. They touch a snare in the guitar of your heart and make you believe that for one moment your life isn’t so shite.
Some of them are intimidating. I’m obsessed by Neil Gaiman but haven’t really read any of his stuff yet because he’s so good and he makes me want to push myself further but I’m afraid because I don’t know what that will bring.
Some books and some writers make me feel like a dunce.
But there is something enormously freeing about reading. I’ve been known to read six books at a time because sometimes it’s the only thing I can do. And I feel wiser, better and uplifted afterwards.
I want to push myself to read more. Read about subjects that scare me. Read authors that intimidate me. Laugh in the face of my own darkness and say “Fuck you, brain, because I just read Will Self!”
Books can mess you up and tear you down and build you back up again.
That’s what my afternoon was about.
Also, I did some knitting.