That sentence has to be one of the best descriptions of why we read that I've ever heard. It's from the film 'Shadowlands' and if you've not seen it, then I advise you all to rush out and get a copy for it is the most beautiful portrait of the relationship between C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham. Oxford doesn't come off to badly either.
Anyway, back to those words. They've set me thinking about the nature of reading and whether that sentence actually holds true when you set it against different genres.
Ok, so I know I read Jane Austen's works with a sense of wonder that it's not just me who has relationship difficulties, or an annoying mother, and that these things have passed down through the centuries. I read murder mysteries not because I've committed murder, but because the thrill they give me has thrilled others before me and I know that. Do I read anything by Douglass Adams because I'm supremely interested in science? Do I heck! I read them because they are funny.
So what does this sentence really mean? I suppose it might be better to say we WRITE to know we are not alone, because what else is a blog for except to share the wealth we have acquired and pass it on and infuse others with that sense of 'I MUST read that'.
It's an interesting puzzle, but one I do understand (despite the way I've expressed myself here).
Reading gives me the freedom to explore, to take a part of myself and let it grow through fiction. It amuses me (and worries me at the same time) how much I can relate to fictional characters. To quote another film (this time not quite so lofty, but none the less lovely for that: 'You've Got Mail', in fact) 'So much of what I see reminds me of what I've read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?'
I read for the pleasure. I read for the experience. I read so that I can share with those who have read the same thing. I read with the confidence that there are others out there who have had the same, almost indescribable, feelings I have had.
I read to know I'm not alone. Do you?