During the 1950s, the pioneering photojournalist Eve Arnold took a series of portraits of Marilyn Monroe. The now iconic photos generally present Monroe as a larger-than-life celebrity and sex symbol. Except for one. In 1955, Arnold photographed Monroe reading a worn copy of James Joyce’s modernist classic, Ulysses. It’s still debated whether this was simply an attempt to recast her image (she often played the “dumb blonde” character in her ’50s films), or whether she actually had a pensive side. (Her personal library, catalogued at the time of her death, suggests the latter.)
To learn, of course. Knowledge and ideas have been preserved and shared for centuries from books. Books also gives an escape to life, to explore and discover new worlds, and old lives outside of our own.
Life is sometimes hard to navigate and the never ceasing strain in an attempt to, leaves one exhausted with reality. Just as our minds crave stimulation and a sense of accomplishment, they also need an escape.
If you want to learn about a person, look to their hobbies. If you want to learn about the individuality of a person, look at their bookcase.
Reading is far more than a function between the eyes and brain.