Monday, September 04, 2006

Memories of Vanished
Days Spent Reading

'There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favorite book. Everything that filled them for others, so it seemed, and that we dismissed as a vulgar obstacle to a divine pleasure; the game for which a friend would come to fetch us at the most interesting passage; the troublesome bee or sun ray that forced us to lift our eyes from the page or to change position; the provisions for the afternoon snack that we had been made to take along and that we left beside us on the bench, without touching while above our head the sun was diminishing in force in the blue sky; the dinner we had to return home for, and during which we thought only of going up immediately afterward to finish the interrupted chapter, all those things which reading should have kept us from feeling anything but annoyance at, it has on the contrary engraved in us so sweet a memory of (so much more precious to our present judgment than what we read then with such love), that if we still happen today to leaf through those books of another time, it is for no other reason than that they are the only calendars we have kept of days that have vanished, and we hope to see reflected on their pages the dwellings and pond which no longer exist.'

--Marcel Proust, On Reading

3 Comments:

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Chris McVetta said...

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At 5:16 PM, Anonymous MilesB said...

What a great quote and spot on.

I'm reading The Yellow Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee and the whole book is a memoir of books, reading, and working in bookstores. I just started it but already I'm hooked and will probably finish it in a day or so.

If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Miles. I'll check it out.

 

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