Groucho Marx once said that “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” And that’s what I want this blog to be about: how the creation and absorption of literature impacts my life. In other words, I’m blogging about reading, writing, and occasionally the warm fuzzies of having a dog.
I am blind, but that’s not what I’m writing about. It’s just a fact. I’m me. I’m blind. Moving on.
I’m not blogging about it in general, but the fact that I’m blind does lend itself well to the title of this post, because the fact is, for me, it’s never too dark to read. When I was little, when my brothers and I had early bedtimes and our parents turned out the lights, my older brother always complained that I could still read in the dark. In fact, sometimes I would read so late that I would fall asleep with the book still lying open across my chest, and I would wake up some time after my parents had put it on my night table to find my fingers still moving across the sheets, reading a story even in my dreams.
Now, I’m going into my senior year at Kenyon College, where I’m studying English, creative writing, and Italian. I read every book I can get my hands on, and I write young adult fantasy and literary fiction. I love language. It never fails to fascinate me how one word plus another word plus another word and on and on for hundreds of thousands of words can create a story that can make me laugh until my ribs ache or cry until my ears pop. I hope to write a story like that one day too, and since my career after college is going to have something to do with literature, I feel like I should get some practice talking about it in a public way.
But this isn’t about literature in the scholarly sense of the word, not really. This is about stories, and what stories can do for all of us. For me, my favorite books are like old friends who are always there, whatever is going on in my life, and there’s nothing like the joy of discovery that comes with a new book. And writing a story is just the same, a journey of discovery and emotion. Stories of all kinds have gotten me through the hardest times in my life, so I guess what I’m really blogging about is how, even if you’re inside a dog, it is never too dark to read.