By: Isiah Magsino
“How do you have time to read for fun?” Well, I make time for it. No, I prioritize it--especially in New York City where people seem to always be navigating through the cyber worlds found on their smartphones.
I began reading for entertainment immensely last summer, after I had discovered that reading helped me work through my anxiety founded by the endless cycles of being in constant communication with others. I traveled to the Met Cloisters two or three times a week just to read and write. The warm outdoor pavilions, light amount of tourists and birds whirling around the monastery’s windows created a fantastical world that I held sacred for my own. I found pieces of the fantastical world I had built in my own head projected onto this plot of land in the most northern part of Manhattan. It was my sanctuary, where I contradicted myself-- feeling both safe and vulnerable.
You might be thinking, you just started reading? We all move at different paces.
Though this sounds like something a fifth grade teacher would say to get their kids to pick up a book from the Magic Tree House series, I thoroughly enjoy how a good novel is capable of placing me into a foreign world-- a world where I can learn from things I haven’t necessarily experienced for myself. Every striking quote I’ve come across earns a spot within the pages of my black suede journal. The following are a few of those quotes.
“I know Doyler Will be out and where would I be but out beside him? I don’t hate the English and I don’t know why I love the Irish. But I love him. I’m sure of that now. And he is my country.” At Swim, Two boys, Jamie O’Neill
“In a dreamy way he saw the sea and the way the sea was brighter than the sky when it rained. How the drops leapt on the surface like a myriad of fish.” At Swim Two Boys, Jamie O’Neill
“Everyone goes through a period of traviemento--Where we take, say, a different turn in life, the other via. Dante himself did. Some recover, some pretend to recover, some never come back. Some chicken out before ever starting, and some, for fear of taking any turns, find themselves leading the wrong life all life long.” Call Me By Your Name, Andre Aciman
“Of course it is sudden: all really delightful things are. And yet it seems to me to be one thing I’ve been looking for all my life.” The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar
"I know you will laugh at me," he replied, "but I really can't exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it." The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, a world without end.” The year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
“Money, prestige, and power have become his incentives and ends. He acts under the illusion that his actions benefit his self-interest, though he actually serves everything else but the interest of his real-self. Everything is important to him except his life and the art of living. He is for everything except for himself.” Man for Himself, Erich Fromm
“The expression ‘soulmate’ can mean a partnership in which the soul is engaged, in which one’s own soul connects with another’s. This is no small thing, and it reaches far deeper than the resolution of any superficial search for romance. Part of what we long for in our wish for a soul mate is intimacy with and the expression of our own soul.” The Original Self, Thomas Moore
“What is beautiful we prize, what is merely useful we despise. Yet what is beautiful is often our destruction, The stag scorned the legs which lent him speed, and cherished the horns which in his hour of need were a dire obstruction.” The Deer Head, Fontaine