Monday, July 11, 2011

Stephen Graham Jones, On Reading

"The trick with reading is that it's its own end. You eat to get nutrition, you breathe to get air, you jump the fence to get the frisbee, you run to get away from the dog, you lie about how big the dog was to impress somebody, you — you write to try to make the world make sense, at least for a few pages. With reading, though, you read just to read, don't you? Sure, maybe it makes you smarter, or convinces you of this or that, or has tricks you can steal, or makes you laugh or cry or cringe, or challenges you in necessary and surprising ways, or connects you to somebody four hundred years ago, or four hundred miles away, or takes you somewhere so much better than where you are now, and leaves you a different person than you were when you opened that book. But none of that's why you opened that book, is it? You opened it just to read."

{Stephen Graham Jones has ten books published, across a lot the genres — always looking for more, too — and four or five or six more coming, and probably a hundred and thirty or so stories published. He got his PhD from FSU and now teaches in the MFA program at CU Boulder, and, the summer he was twelve years old, after reading every Reader's Digest and National Geographic since 1957, he finally had to resort to reading the labels off cans in his grandparents' pantry, making himself hit each word, just to make it last longer. More at}

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