Passionate Readers: Who Are We?

By Carole Reedy

“And she is the reader who browses the shelf and looks for new worlds but finds herself.” ― Laura Purdie Salas, Poems about Books

If you are browsing through this issue of The Eye, you are probably a reader, traveler, or adventurer, or all three wrapped into one. There are as many different types of readers as there are moles in Oaxaca. Some read for information, others for facts about travel, the weather, politics, and the state of the world. Some read to pass the time-in the doctor’s office, on a plane or bus, or while waiting in one of those long Mexican lines at the bank. Some people read for adventure and to escape the day to day hum-drum routine. Some read for beauty or emotion. Emily Dickenson once said, “If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that it is poetry.”

But there are people for whom reading is part of their lives. They read everywhere and always have a book close at hand, in a purse or tote, in pocket or in hand, cuddled in their arms and, most importantly, on a bedside table. Bookshelves replace furniture in their homes. They read while eating at home and in restaurants. They not only read on the bus, but while waiting for the bus or while watching television or waiting for their slow internet connection to improve or water to boil on the stove. Reading is nourishment as important as food or love. Conversations inevitably turn to books, and authors are as revered as Gandhi or Mozart. Their friends, husbands, wives, partners and children are readers. They feel a type of anxiety when they finish a book and haven’t yet decided what to read next. Their identity is closely linked to what they read. Call it a passion, an obsession, a quirk, an addiction.

It is as much an art form as thinking or writing. “No two persons have ever read the same book,” according to Edmund Wilson. Whether you are a serious or a casual reader, we hope you will join us every month on this page, where we’ll discuss books, magazines, book clubs, Mexico, travel resources, anything about the written word. Next month’s topic: Sometimes the best guide book is a novel. Send your questions, comments, and ideas to carolina_reedy@yahoo.com.

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