The pleasure of reading

I spent last Christmas in Madrid and, apart from spending much time with my family, I went to some second-hand bookstores in the city centre in search of interesting books. I decided to buy one after reading its foreword. I simply fell in love with the foreword written by G.C. Rosser. The book was first published in 1957 and its title is "The Poet's Tale" - An Anthology of narrative Poetry. It is a compilation of poems that nowadays can easily be found on the Internet, but Rosser's words were worth taking the book home.

"There are many ways of reading literature. We can dip into a novel to pass the time away, we can give ourselves to a writer to escape from boredom or the monotony of films and television, we can read plays, short stories, and poems simply because we have developed a habit and would not be without our weekly instalment of reading. We can also read to make ourselves more mature by living through the emotional experience of other minds in this or another country. But whichever attitude we adopt, there is always one element which keeps us fascinated in literature. That element is pleasure. We read because, generallys peaking, we find it pleasurable to read and the more pleasure we find in reading the more the activity becomes part of our daily lives.

What many of us have realised, of course, is that pleasure and understanding go hand in hand. The more we possess a book, the more we come to grips with its essence, the more satisfaction it gives us. The experience becomes more relevant, more urgent."


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