The hunger

When it hits, it hits hard. It’s a fear; a twitch that manifests itself in the crook between forefinger and thumb. A realisation that starts there, right there in the muscle memory of your hands and travels slowly to your mind, and there gains form, gains shape, gains weight. And it’s a moment that stops you in your tracks.

You have nothing to read at home.

The moment you walk in that door, flick the lights on and turn the oven on, .the moment just then when you’re sliding into your home-self, and you have a fragment of space to breathe in, a moment to lose yourself from the day, that moment demands something new to bury your head in and you have nothing to fulfill that need.

Books throng your shelves, they pack and cover every space you’ve got money to fill, but that’s not enough. There’s more out there. You know this as clear as day. You want the next installment, the next episode, and until they beam it into your hands, Star Trekked from some mythical transporter that gets built handily close to your house whilst not contravening local planning policy, you don’t have it. You don’t have it and you want it. You want it so bad.

And the books you do have just won’t do. They’ve all got their space and place in your heart, they do otherwise they wouldn’t be there, but when the hunger strikes, they’re not good enough.

When the hunger hits, you need to feed it. You need to lose yourself in something amazing, something that makes you able to want to leave this story in every place you visit ever so others can have the reaction you’ve had.

Stories are our superpowers. They’re out there, and they can change the life of each and every one of us. You read people living the life you want to live, could have lived, should have lived, and you learn how to be brave and wise and bold. You learn about experiences so alien to yours, you can’t even begin to fathom that.

But you do. All of this exposure to knowledge and experience, so freely given to anybody who wants it, changes you. Even when you don’t realise it, these books you read have an impact upon you.

And I can’t ever begin to imagine a world that doesn’t bend over backwards to let that happen.


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