I am so enjoying my time with C.S.Lewis. I try to spend time with him everyday; it soothes my soul. I have been surprised at how hard I have fallen into his thoughts and his words. I do believe the old cliché that it is all in the timing. If I had attempted this project of having a literary mentor last year or the year before I don’t think it would have hit as hard nor would it have worked. I need Lewis’s words for right now. I am currently reading The Great Divorce and An Experiment in Criticism. Both books have been an interesting read but the latter has piqued my interest. He snagged me in the very first chapter where he describes the differences between an unliterary reader and a literary reader.
“In the first place, the majority never read anything twice. The sure mark of an unliterary man is that he considers ‘I’ve read it already.’ Those who read great works, on the other hand, will read the same work ten, twenty or thirty times during the course of their life.”
“Secondly, the majority do not set much store by reading. They turn to it as a last resource… But literary people are always looking for leisure and silence in which to read and do so with their whole attention. When they are denied such attentive and undisturbed reading even for a few days they feel impoverished.”
“Thirdly, the first reading of some literary work is often, to the literary, an experience so momentous that only experiences of love, religion or bereavement can furnish a standard of comparison. Their whole consciousness is changed. They have become what they were not before. But there is no sign of anything like this among the other sort of reader.”
“Finally, what they have read is constantly and prominently present to the mind of the few, but not to that of the many. The former mouth over their favorite lines and stanzas in solitude…They talk to one another about books, often and at length. The latter seldom think or talk of their reading.”
I must say that it is weird to be so fully understood by a man who has been dead for over 50 years. It is soothing, though, to know that there is at least one person who really ‘gets’ me.
Pop on over to LadyDusk for more thoughts and words on books and reading.