Delving into the Intangibles


“By constantly having to listen to other selves (­­––and that would certainly mean reading!)”

This is a quote from Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo.

Most people, it’s true, can get along fairly well without ever reading a book. But I wish such people would come to realize the fun of reading and make friends with it. Reading is something like a small universe in which, while listening to different voices, the selves of others resonate with one’s own.

Reading is a journey to find oneself. It is true that books are packed with other people’s thoughts, opinions, ways of looking at things, and experiences; but you are also sure to find clues for discovering your self that haven’t necessarily been apparent to you before. You might surrender not only your ears but also your heart to the magical charm of a good book.

This is caused by the interactions of Intangible Power.

If you do not find a book interesting it is because you did not have a chance to meet your self in it. In the same way you feel happy when you hit it off with someone, you will feel excited and thrilled to find, by true serendipity, a marvelous book. Without needing first-hand experience and knowledge, books can help you find your own self; they can encourage you and give you dreams. The difference is whether your companion is a living person or a book. When you feel like being alone and undisturbed, your book speaks to you about many things, in silence––without the chattering of talkative friends.

Reading has become a kind of religion for me. It helps me take my mind off nasty and painful things for a while and offers me a comfortable place to escape. And further, it can heal, rescue, and counsel me. It is also a means to cultivate one’s sensibility and thoughts, like listening to one’s favorite music or looking at one’s favorite paintings.

You might find the first ten pages of a book uninteresting; unable to exactly understand what has been written, you wander around aimlessly in a forest of words. But once you get over this first hurdle, you will obtain a clear view and find yourself enthralled.

There are many kinds of books: those you read for fun and those you want to read again and therefore mark up with a highlighter pen. Some might become your desk-side companions to cry and laugh along with you. The Intangible Power of reading is limitless.

Reading is a source of my power. A world without it would make me uneasy. Just one book can change your whole life. For that reason, it is necessary to listen to other people’s voices humbly. Take your time, go to the bookshop and look around the shelves. You will find many, many books by different authors; some are already on your side and ready to lead you; others will pioneer new adventures, speaking their dreams to you.

Anywhere, in the space of just half a tatami mat, you can spend hours and hours, or as long as you like. There is no other way to take advantage of this. Please make full use of this invisibleWonder Power for yourself.

Reading is It!