How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen 

★★★★☆ (4/5)

A selection of favourite passages from the book

• Perhaps only a truly discontented child can become as seduced by books as I was. Perhaps restlessness is a necessary corollary of devoted literacyimages

• “Reading makes immigrants of us all,” she wrote years later. “It takes us away from home, but, most important, it finds homes for us everywhere.”

• Reading has always been my home, my sustenance, my great invincible companion

• While we pay lip service to the virtues of reading, the truth is that there is still in our culture something that suspects those who read too much, whatever reading too much means, of being lazy, aimless dreamers, people who need to grow up and come outside to where real life is, who think themselves superior in their separateness

• Reading for pleasure was replaced by reading for purpose, and a kind of dogged self-improvement: whereas an executive might learn far more from Moby Dick or The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit, the book he was expected to have read might be The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

• But there was much more than freedom. Reading became the pathway to the world, a world without geographic boundaries or even the steep risers of time. There was a time machine in our world, but not the contraption of metal and bolts and motors

• This ability of a book to lessen isolation is important, not simply for personal growth, but for cultural and societal growth as well. Before the advent of television, books were the primary vehicle for discovering both the mysteries and the essential human similarities of those a world away

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