The following is a good word on books from Franz Kafka. The next time we want to reach for the latest quick-fix, self-help book, or the best-selling "Christian" novella, or volume number 28 in the Left Behind series, let's think about his words.
With so little time in life and so much left to learn, why would we settle for something mindless and unchallenging?
"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it? So that it shall make us happy? Good God, we would also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could if need be, write ourselves. But what we must have are those books which come upon us like ill-fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside of us."
- Franz Kafka