I’ve dedicated my life to reading. My father showed me  his library, which seemed to me infinite, and he told me to read  whatever I wanted, but that if something bored me I should put it down  immediately—that is, the opposite of obligatory reading. Reading has to  be a happiness, and philosophy gives us happiness, and that is the  contemplation of a problem. The world continues to be more enigmatic,  more enchanting. For me reading and writing are two equally pleasurable  activities. When writers talk about the torture of writing, I don’t  understand it. For me writing is a necessity. When I was young, I  thought about what I considered the heroic life of my military elders, a  life that had been rich, and mine—the life of a reader—seemed to me a  poor life. Now I don’t believe that. The life of a reader can be as rich  as any other life. Suppose Alonso Quijano had never left his library,  or bookstore, as Cervantes called it, I believe that his life reading  would have been as rich as when he conceived the project of turning  himself into Quixote.


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