Daily Riches: Transformation, Transcendence and Reading (E. B. White, C. S. Lewis, Rebecca Solnit and Franz Kafka)

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.” Franz Kafka

“…doubt has been raised as to the future of reading – whether the printed word is on its last legs. One college president has remarked that in fifty years ‘only five percent of the people will be reading.’ For this, of course, one must be prepared. But how prepare? To us it would seem that even if only one person out of a hundred and fifty million should continue as a reader, he would be the one worth saving, the nucleus around which to found a university. We think this not impossible person, this Last Reader, might very well stand in the same relation to the community as the queen bee to the colony of bees, and that the others would quite properly dedicate themselves wholly to his welfare, serving special food and building special accommodations. From his nuptial, or intellectual, flight would come the new race of men, linked perfectly with the long past by the unbroken chain of the intellect, to carry on the community.” E. B. White

“Like many others who turned into writers, I disappeared into books when I was very young, disappeared into them like someone running into the woods. What surprised and still surprises me is that there was another side to the forest of stories and the solitude, that I came out that other side and met people there.” Rebecca Solnit

“…My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. …in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like a night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.” C. S. Lewis

“in reading this you will be able to understand my insight” Ephesians 3:4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you read broadly enough to “transcend” yourself (your experience, perspective, biases, prejudices and assumptions)?
  • Have you run into the woods (like entering Narnia through the wardrobe), met unexpected people there, and been forever changed by that?
  • Do you position yourself for personal transformation by attempting to “understand the insight” of Others?

Abba, as I’m exposed to the voices of Others, may I transcend my tiny self.

For More: How to Read Slowly by James Sire


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)