December 16th, 2007


People who love books

Today's Parade magazine insert in the Sunday paper has an article by James Patterson in the form of a letter to his son Jack. Patterson explains to Jack that he wants him to be a reader not because reading is a life skill that will help him succeed, but because reading books gives a person joy. Here's my favorite paragraph from the article, where Patterson quotes another very different writer:

A great French writer named Gustave Flaubert once said, “It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance...I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the wind, the words my people uttered.” Jack, that’s how I feel when I write, and it’s also how you’ll feel when you read a great book. It’s truly one of the best things in life!

Pretty cool way to put it. "I was also the horses..." pretty much says it all. On an interesting side note, although Patterson isn't a fantasy writer, of the seven children's book he lists as favorites, three are contemporary speculative fiction (Holes, Eragon, The Golden Compass) and two are children's classics that are speculative (Charlotte's Web, James and the Giant Peach).