December 13, 2007


Posted in Life, Literature tagged , , , at 4:14 pm by Katelyn

I found one of my new favorite quotes last night from a novel I can’t seem to put down, no matter how hard I try. I thought it would serve well as the basis for my post today. It comes from the novel The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud and is inThe Emperor’s Children reference to reading on all topics, including those you do not like.

“You expose yourself to as much as possible, you absorb it, you forget most of it, but along the way it’s changed you.”


The words are simple, but the message is dead on. I think one of the main points is that you will forget much of what you read, and that that is okay. The point is to be changed; to be a different person than you were before you read it.

By reading, and reading on all types of topics, are we not more knowledgeable, understanding, and cultured? In our society where so much of our information is filtered to us through media giants and in non-traditional forms such as television and the Internet, how many people still are changed by the material they read?

I, for one, always gravitate toward novels – a mixture of classic literature and modern “fun” stories, but does that stretch my mind? Now that I am no longer in school where I am forced by professors to read material that I would never choose for myself at the library or local bookstore, I find this quote to have even more meaning.  It is almost a call to action for me to read a book on history, philosophy, or any other non-fiction and it will prove worthy of my time. Force yourself to read and understand books on topics that aren’t your primary interest. Pick up a newspaper or magazine to read in cycle with your normal blogs and other websites.

Don’t ever stop stretching yourself. Be your own professor.

Read, forget – that’s fine, but be changed!