A good book reflects the reader, as much as it illuminates the author’s texts

illuminated manuscript

How they perceive that book will depend on who they are

“Every book tells a different story to the person who reads it,” Goninan explained. “How they perceive that book will depend on who they are. A good book reflects the reader, as much as it illuminates the author’s text.”

Claire nodded in understanding.

“Now,” Goninan said, imagine a book that literally is different for each person who reads it.”

Janey frowned. “Do you men that the story I’m reading in The Little Country – I’m the only person who will read that particular story?”

“Exactly.”

Goninan smiled. “No, of course it isn’t. It’s magic.”

by Charles de Lint (born 22 December 1951)
from The Little Country (1991)
The Lost Music – Border Spirit
image – pjmorse

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7 Responses to “A good book reflects the reader, as much as it illuminates the author’s texts”

  1. clarissa mcfairy Says:

    This is so true, is it not, Elizabeth? And the same with a poem or a painting.
    The book is communicating with a myriad different interpreters, and when one writes a book, one has no idea whatsoever how many different interpretations the book will inspire, or how many friends it will make. It is as tho the book, once it is out, ventures into a big park, sits on a bench feeding squirrels, and each squirrel will approach the nut, and nibble it, quite differently. Love this kind of inspirational writing. Thank you!

  2. E. A. Able Says:

    I like the way he tucks these things into his characters.

  3. Dee Says:

    I am working my way through everything I can get my hands on by Mr. De Lint. He is my idol lol – Also Emma Bull and Terri Windling. I think we must be sisters 🙂

  4. E. A. Able Says:

    Hi Dee! I get satisfaction and hope from reading people who tuck in bits of personal philosophy and poetic phrasing. De Lint is *almost* too preachy for me, but not enough to make me put him down. His preachy parts are integrated with the richness of the personalities in his stories, and his stories have their own draw… but that may be too analytical. If I get a sense of traction, I’m there. I reacted the same way to Tolkien, and I can no longer count the number of times I’ve read The Hobbit or his Ring series.

  5. Franchesca Bush Says:

    What is that image from?

  6. E. A. Able Says:

    Franchesca, I found it! According to Wikipedia, it’s Al-majmu’at al Rashiddiyya, theological treatise 1311-12. Written by Rashid al-Din Fadlallah, Coped by Muhammad ibn mahmoud al-Baghdadi Iran, 711 AH (December 1311- January 1312 AD)

  7. Franchesca Bush Says:

    Thank you!

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