So far I have found the novel to be interesting – frightening yet consoling. It is an end-of-the-world tale of a dystopian future in which people have turned away from God and religion and have placed their hope in a radical, materialistic, globalized, secular humanism. Sounds quite prophetic for a book written over a hundred years ago, doesn’t it?
Studies are showing that fewer people read books these days. There are so many distractions that taking the time to read can be such a struggle. I am guilty too of falling prey to the distractions. Yet how enriching it is when I do take the time. Reading novels, especially, opens the heart and mind to the vagaries of the human condition. Novels, as one book critic described, are “a kind of heavy-handed seduction very much akin to telling a pedestrian, passing by your home as you step out of it, “psst, the house is unlocked, we’ll be gone for a few weeks… the novel is an unlocked door to a mind.” Novels help us to explore and fathom the perplexity of life and of the human heart in a way that nothing else can.
Whenever I need inspiration to begin a new novel I look up on my computer lists of the greatest lines of literature. After reading over just a few, I am reminded that taking the time to read is very much worth it. Here are some great lines from a few classic books. See if they inspire you to take a trip to the library before the summer is over:
"Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life." – William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury.
“Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonized as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.” – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre.
“But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the washstand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor.”– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.
“Isn’t it pretty to think so?” – Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.
Pick up a good book. You won’t regret it. Blessed reading!