Franz Kafka believed that reading books that wound and stab us will melt the frozen sea within us to connect us with our soul.
I agree that books have the power to move people physically and emotionally. Some do sting and others do wound as beliefs are changed and values are questioned. I wouldn’t go as far as to assert that everyone has a frozen sea within them but then again I may not be quite getting what he’s trying to say. Not everyone lives in existential crisis mode all the time.
I love books, their smell, texture and the feel of them in my hand. Reading takes me to a different world, a safe world populated by transient imaginings. It opens up vistas and viewpoints. They comfort me. Drawn to books like a bee to honey I often buy them to own them and read at a later stage when I’m ready for the message contained within its pages.
Each time I re-read a book, it’s a different book because I’m a different person to the one who originally read it. So it might disappoint on a second reading, or it might delight for the first time.
Other books I keep as references, reading an excerpt here and a chapter there, pulling in its knowledge and wisdom as I need it, when I need it, without reading it in its entirety.
So I don’t agree wholly with Franz Kafka – the sea is not frozen within me – it is flowing, churning and toiling. Shallow and deep. Dynamic all the time. And books must be the touch that tickles the imagination.