Our daughter over at Mt. Hope Academy, has been talking about books and has listed all the books read and needing to be read by her and her family. Her lists are massive, ambitious and wonderful. They put my reading list to shame so I won't list what I've read, but I'm going to quote here from the C.S. Lewis biography, 'Jack -A Life of C.S. Lewis' by George Sayer, which I recently finished. In it C.S Lewis is quoted as saying in one of his books~(and he can say it better than anyone!)
Literature enlarges our being by admitting us to experiences not our own. They may be beautiful, terrible, awe-inspiring, exhilarating, pathetic, or merely piquant. Literature gives the entree to them all. Those of us who have been true readers all out life seldom realize the enormous extension of our being that we owe to authors. We realize it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. My own eyes are not enough for me. Very gladly would I learn what faces things present to a mouse or bee.
In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in a Greek poem, I see with a thousand eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself: and am never more myself than when I do.
And I had to find a picture to go with this post since a picture is worth--well, you know. And who better a picture of than Ilex, one of our family's great readers.