"I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I've been a resident of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina, and strolled down Swann's Way. It's a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior. My second one is populated with characters slightly less eccentric but supremely real, made of flesh and bone, full of love, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything."
- Rory's valedictorian speech
Cool montage of book references: http://youtu.be/QpRMjxtViHA
1. 1. It’s important to have the right book for every occasion. Some books are bus books and some books are lunch books. And sometimes on the bus you want a biography and other times you want a novel. Alternatively, you might be in the mood for essays or short stories or poetry. Be prepared.
2. 2. Just because you already own a book doesn’t mean you can’t own it again. If you really love a book, you might need two or three copies. Paperbacks. Hardcovers. Different cover art. This is especially true if another copy is a good bargain and can fit in a pocket!
3. 3. There’s always room for more books. You may have to get a little creative when you think you can’t possibly fit yet another bookshelf in your house, but there’s room. Embrace a system of organized chaos if need be.
4. 4. Date the kind of guy who will babysit your books at a book sale. Or the kind who steals your books to leave you notes in the margins (if you’re into that sort of thing). But never, ever date the guy who mocks you for reading.
5. 5. Surround yourself with people who love books. Exchange books with each other. Ask for books as gifts. Try books outside your comfort zone, even if you think you really, really won’t like them. You might be surprised.
6. 6. Nothing smells quite like an old book. I love books new and old, but old, used books have history to them, and with that history comes that magical book smell. (Note: This does not apply to books from smokers’ homes. Or the other kind of smokers. I really don’t mean that kind of magic.)
7. 7. Read a lot. And read a lot of different kinds of books. If Harvard has 13 million volumes, it’s going to take a lot of reading to be able to converse about even 1% of those books. Don’t fritter your life away. If you want to be able to understand pop culture references (and throw out plenty of your own), it’s important to be well versed in that culture.
8. 8. Keep a dictionary on hand when you read. It may not have to be that very fancy, very expensive OED. (Though I’m a little envious of Rory’s.) Take a moment to look up words you don’t know from time to time.
9. 9. Return your library books. If you forget to bring back that copy of The Iliad you’ll feel so guilty that nobody else got to read it that you just might have to ground yourself.
10. 10. Live in two worlds. They characters in the book world and the real world have a lot to offer, and both worlds let you go places you never could have imagined on your own.