Because when I read, I don’t really read

For thirty-five years now I’ve been in wastepaper, and it’s my love story. For thirty-five tears I’ve been compacting wastepaper and books, smearing myself with letters until I’ve come to look like my encyclopedias–and a good three tons of them I’ve compacted over the years. I am a jug filled with water both magic and plain; I have only to lean over and a stream of beautiful thoughts flows out of me. My education has been so unwitting I can’t quite tell which of my thoughts come from me and which come from my books, but that’s how I’ve stayed attune to myself and the world around me for the past thirty-five years. Because when I read, I don’t really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck on it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol. -Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud A Solitude

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