Saturday, July 23, 2011

Emily Rapp, On Reading

"I suffered from insomnia as a child. During those all-night benders of wakefulness, I always reached for The Little House on the Prairie series. Sitting on the windowsill and staring out the dark window, I was comforted – and quite possibly kept awake – by this frontier family’s tales of hardship. Blizzards, famines, crops ruined by neglect or a fatal miscalculation. These were books with real stakes, the only kinds of books I've ever enjoyed reading. I would read three and four books in one night, obsessively plowing through them. And thus my obsessive reading habit began. I still eat books – at least one a week – and whereas I used to read to escape my life, I read now to enrich it. I read to learn what other authors have done differently, sometimes badly. I read to learn about the world through the eyes of another human person telling a story, real or imagined or both. I believe that reading is one of the deepest human connections we make in our fragmented world – being inside the theater of another person’s mind and heart is a unique and terribly human experience. Reading – this authentic connection between author and reader -- is not just an insomniac’s go to activity, it’s also a way of staying human in an increasingly inhumane world."

Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir, and many essays and stories. She currently teaches creative writing and literature at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Her next book, Dear Dr. Frankenstein: A Love Story, is about her journey with her son Ronan, who is dying of Tay-Sachs disease. Visit her website here, and her blog, Our Little Seal, can be found here.}

1 comment:

  1. Cool entry! I had similar experiences/feelings as a kid growing up in northern Iowa, where it was alternately freezing and broiling with no real transition in between.