Okay, life is like this; you are born, a lot of dumb stuff happens that you are mostly not in control of, you suffer a little bit, you are happy a little bit, and then you die. That is a pretty gloomy prospect, and most of us spend our entire lives obsessing over it, examining it with microscopes, doctoring it with needles and potions and chainsaws, trying to make it last a little longer, wailing and complaining about our sorry allotment, and wasting what little time we have. So what secret exists that could ever make a difference? Could ever open up our eyes… even just a tiny bit?
The secret, as far as I can tell (and I am certainly one of the dumber and more random among you because I am cursed with insight and wisdom won through suffering and making huge mistakes), is reading the right books.
I am not alone in this sort of thinking. There are those who believe that if you gather the best books together into a personal library and read them, they add experiences and knowledge to your life that you would not otherwise have. (Of course, one must acknowledge, especially if you read fiction, that most books are filled with lies and misinformation, and some, Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus leaps to mind, might leave you stupider than you were when you started.) It deepens, broadens, and intensely colors the experience of life.
People who read books a lot… really read them, and re-read them, and collect them, and study them, and think about and write about them… are called wizards. Wizards are wise men. It is what the word means. Being one does not make you better than anyone else. In fact, wizards are generally weaker than normal men. It comes from all that ruining of eyes and fuddling up brains with too much thinking. You don’t want a wizard to back you up in a fist fight. You will certainly lose. And you don’t want a wizard to tell you how live your life. They are not good role models. But if a wizard tells a story, you should listen. Because if you really listen, and the wizard is really wise, you can expand the borders of your life, and push on nearer to immortality.