I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things. ~George Robert Gissing
The first time I read Flannery O’Connor I had to pause, go back and read paragraphs again, because the vividness of her world had sent me catapulting into mine and I was already putting words on paper to tell a story with a winsome gothic grace that I could never capture.
When I read Eberhart, I felt quiet dignity. Carver captured the empty space. I tried to do it in my stories and was left with just that, empty space. Dos Passos emptied out his soul. Descartes was dry where Campbell was all wet, the narrowness of thesis contrasted with the sloppy synthetics of a theory of everything.
The books are memory, a roadmap, an inspiration. Every writer’s bookshelf tells a story, offers the outline of their imagination, is the loci of the zygotic conclusion of the quiet work the writer does. This is part of mine.
If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison