Books are amazing. If you’re reading this, then you already know that. As writers, I think our proudest moments are knowing that our words have had an effect on someone. Maybe I’m a sadist, but I love seeing people cry after they read my work. Is that wrong? That’s an issue for another time.
But I also love being moved by books myself. I love the crying, the fist-shaking, the smiles. It’s the emotions that come from books that make them so magical. It’s just squiggles on a page (or a screen, if you’re into that) but Franz Kafka got it right when he said:
We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
It’s not very often that my own frozen sea gets the axe treatment. The most recent book that had The Disaster Effect on me was Sula by Toni Morrison. It’s only short and I won’t spoil it for anyone because you should all go and read it, but yeah, I had a little teary.
And I guess that’s the reason I like to see people cry when they read my writing. It doesn’t happen very often, and well, I get a bit embarassed, but it’s a good feeling. Because I know that my squiggles have broken into that frozen sea. Which is a really hard thing to do.