Saturday, April 03, 2004

Appendix A

Reasons to attend a reading

1. To be entertained. Go to a movie? Read a book? Be read to! I've always enjoyed being read to, even by people who are not authors.

2. To gawk at a celebrity. People flock to see movie stars, athletes, heads of state in various types of public appearances. If books are your thing, authors are celebrities too. Why it is that we've developed the cult of celebrity is worth its own appendix.

3. To pay homage. Honour an author whose work you admire and respect. Show him you care.

4. To gain a new dimension on a book. Hear it in the author's voice. Become privy to the nuances of his cadence, his breath, the subtleties that punctuation cannot convey. Even if the author gives no commentary, his voice carries comment on his intentions.

5. To receive wisdom, creative genius, charm, wealth, etc. — anything that might accidentally rub off or be osmotically imparted to us.

6. To be inspired. To steal the author's muse.

7. To meet God. The author is the creator of whole worlds we try to immerse ourselves in. We attempt to breach the barrier between reality and fiction. We cannot meet the characters we read about, but we can achieve a sense of communion with the one behind their philosophies and worldviews.
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