October 14th, 2010
whole universes

“Don’t be amazed if you see my eyes always wandering. In fact, this is my way of reading, and it is only in this way that reading proves fruitful for me. If a book truly interests me, I cannot follow it for more than a few lines before my mind, having seized on a thought that the text suggests to it, or a feeling, or a question, or an image, goes off on a tangent and springs from thought to thought, from image to image, in an itinerary of reasonings and fantasies that I feel the need to pursue to the end, moving away from the book until I have lost sight of it. The stimulus of reading is indispensable to me, and of meaty reading, even if, of every book, I manage to read no more than a few pages. But those few pages already enclose for me whole universes, which I can never exhaust.”

from page 254, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, by Italo Calvino

Oct 14 2010
3:41 pm
Meghan writes:

I’m an avid reader but a slow one, and this is EXACTLY why! I thought I was easily distracted or something, but this makes it wonderful! Thanks for posting it!

Oct 14 2010
3:49 pm
Jul writes:

One of my favorite books of all time. You’re making me want to pick up my dog-eared copy and read it again.

Oct 14 2010
8:57 pm
Robin Scanlon writes:

Thank you for your wonderful blog. Love this post.

Oct 14 2010
9:23 pm
nina writes:

i love that book. i’ve read it more than once. i think i’ll keep reading it for the rest of my life. thank you.

Oct 14 2010
11:01 pm
Mollie writes:

How is it possible that every time I visit your website, I discover the very post that I need at that given moment? You continually give me such thought-provoking intellectual treats… yum. (And thanks to Calvino too, of course.)

Oct 15 2010
1:51 am
Menachem writes:

Oy, that’s the very reason it took me 3 tries to get through the introduction to Everything is God by Jay Michaelson. Great quote. Thanx.

Oct 17 2010
1:21 am
C writes:

I know this is off subject but there is an article in this week’s NY Times Magazine about Arvo Part and I know that you have mentioned his work. You may have already seen this but if not here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/magazine/17part-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine

Oct 19 2010
8:39 am
Michelle writes:

LOVE this book! Honestly I wish I read like this, but most of the time I’m in such a hurry to get through to the end that I don’t.

Oct 26 2010
11:04 am
Fanfan writes:

It is why children do that very often. Now, I understand.

Children are wonderful teacher,

We have to guide them, but also to learn from them

Nov 1 2010
2:54 pm
Alex writes:

Wow; even just that short paragraph captured me. I immediately looked up “If on a Winters Night a Traveler” on Amazon, read a review, and wanted that book: NOW. As in, I cannot wait one more minute or one more second give me that book now or I’ll pull it from your hands and I don’t care if I have to knock you unconscious to get it but I want it NOW. I’ve never felt that in my entire life. THINK IT MEANS SOMETHING?? I’ve got to get that book… :)

Nov 23 2010
1:00 am
Patrick Lantern writes:

I was reading your post and thinking to myself ”That’s exactly how it was while I was reading If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler’. And whattaya know. It’s from the book.

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