A good book can spark a longing for conversation—with a friend, a coworker, a book club, the person who you couldn’t stop thinking of while flipping the pages.

A good book can spark a longing to be alone, to spend time with just yourself and these words.

A good book can convince you to underline its lines and scribble down its best quotes.

A good book can deprive you of a good night’s sleep, luring you to read, read, read instead of turning out the light.

A good book can lull you into dreamland, the rhythm of the language easing your mind into rest.

A good book can prompt you to remember how much you love the ways this writer shapes words into sentences and stories.

A good book can fill you with an odd evangelistic urge to press its pages into someone else’s hands.

A good book can induce skepticism of mediocre books and disdain for horrible books.

A good book can transform your mind into a hive of ideas.

A good book can introduce you to new friends, in fictional and real worlds.

A good book can help you see something familiar in a strange new way.

A good book can help you see something new in an old, familiar way.

A good book can make you scurry away with a new word for your midden of verbal treasures: febrile (adjective), piano (noun as verb), jejune (adjective), even—yes—midden (noun).

A good book can inspire frustration at your past self, who owned this copy for years without opening it once.

A good book can create a spark of delight when you see it on your bookshelf days, months, years later: a physical sign of a beloved experience.

A good book can release you from the prison of your current pains.

A good book can plunge you into the sufferings you might otherwise have ignored.

A good book can make you fond of the stranger you spot reading it in public.

A good book can recall the place where you first read it: a hotel room in Spain, the porch of your old apartment, on a picnic blanket before a date, the backseat of the family van.

A good book can shape your desire to visit a place or person: the kitchen, the city of Tokyo, a memorial statue, the Pope, your grandfather.

A good book can turn you into a font of fun facts about the most obscure subjects.

A good book can share the griefs you struggle to describe.

A good book can embody the stories you have lived but have rarely seen written.

A good book can prod you into the uncomfortable realization that you need to grow.

A good book can make you reluctant to spend time with something outside of its world.

A good book can make you long for the next one.

A good book can expand your world and show you different colors, cultures, and histories.

A good book can tighten your world and show you the roots of a tree or the tears of a child.

A good book can make you want to write, even just to feel language thrumming through your mind like that again.

Photo credit Mark Cruzat on Pexels

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