“Literary people” by C.S. Lewis

“[Unliterary people], though they are sometimes frequent readers, do not set much store by reading. They turn to it as a last resource. They abandon it with alacrity as soon as any alternative pastime turns up. It is kept for railway journeys, illnesses, odd moments of enforced solitude, or for the process called ‘reading oneself to sleep.’

They sometimes combine it with desultory conversation; often, with listening to the radio. But literary people are always looking for leisure and silence in which to read and do so with their whole attention. When they are denied such attentive and undisturbed reading even for a few days they feel impoverished.”

–C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961), 2-3.

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Filed under C.S. Lewis, Christian Theology, Literature, Quotable Quotes, Reading

One response to ““Literary people” by C.S. Lewis

  1. Interesting stuff. I’m one of those guys who can barely get in and out of bed, because my wife and I have surrounded it with walls of books just finished or waiting to be read.

    By the way, Thought you might be interested in a fiction blog I do that is greatly inspired by “The Great Divorce” and by Charles Williams’ “Descent into Hell.”

    http://letteroffdead.com is a correspondence between a live son and his dead dad. The father is in a kind of limbo between heaven and hell. The son is in junior high school, which has similar characteristics.

    Anyway, if you’re interested in this from a Lewis point of view, I’d be happy to share more.

    By the way, I’m a soon-to-be published author. My first adolescent novel is coming out on a Random House imprint next spring.

    Tom Llewellyn

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