In Brave New World, people do not read books. Is it because they have been forbidden?; or simply b/c books can't compete with the all-sense-gratifying ("sensorious"?) entertainment of that world? Movies there are posh events held in pristine, surround-vision theaters. They include a sort of "fragrance soundtrack." There occur group orgasms in the rapture of an especially good sex scene. -- What now about a book?
I began to read in earnest last year (2020), and “hooked” would be the outcome put mildly. As spake the Elder Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov, it’s as if these books had been awaiting me: “for the day and the hour, and the month and the year.” If I'd tried embarking on this reading adventure earlier, younger me could not have understood; these works found me at the moment I was ready - nay, in need! Books have become my most cherished companions; their authors, my wise mentors. I feel a kinship with them that crosses the divide of time.
To think that the classics today, in our lucky, free society, are not at all off-limits; yet they may as well be, for as much as they are read. They are not forbidden, in spite of the power they possess to whisper age-old truths across the expanse of time, and even to prophesy! Across the chasm of death, a bridge! To think of the wisdom at our fingertips, if we will turn the page and read.