Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Couple of years ago, I wrote a series of blogposts, trying to understand that elusive creature: The Reader.
I was trying to motivate myself to write my sub-sub-genre literary stories. When I learned who and where my ideal readers were, I relaxed. Instead of trying to write, I found out that reading could almost be just as good. I kind of said,
Fuck writing. Let's just read and see what happens.
Read I did. In hundreds and hundreds. Every day. For two years. On every book format. From every field, even those that obscurely made sense. And with jealous possessiveness for all the books I have not yet read, stacked and saved and sorted in boxes, ebook readers, MP3 players, phones and computer screens.
What relaxed my overachieving drive to write, and pumped my overdrive to read, was the realization that when the student is ready, the teacher will show. That when readers are ready, the books will be printed and reprinted, distributed and hoisted on shoulders and bandwidth, voiced through and in spite of brick and censorship barriers. When readers are ready, there will be no law too restrictive or expense too high or income too low.
Then, and only then, I read "Fahrenheit 451", and it said: "You can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up under them."
Like, it took two years for me to finally find the book that verbalized a vague belief about why it doesn't matter who reads or when or how. That when someone is ready to ask that very specific question, she would have already been stung with the wisdom that'll allow her to swallow the truth. That there will be someone who'll whisper to her that very passage, from that particular book, through that secret, soft spot.
That "The most important single thing we had to pound into ourselves was that we were not important, we mustn't be pedants; we were not to feel superior to anyone else in the world. We're nothing more than dust-jackets for books, of no significance otherwise."
This writing? I'll probably share and link the heck out of it on every social media I'm part of. I can't just let a good story pass through me without tapping on the social spheres. But if nobody ever reads, I can be perfectly alright with that too.
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