*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
We wouldn’t need books quite so much if everyone around us understood us well. But they don’t. Even those who love us get us wrong They tell us who we are but leave things out. They claim to know what we need, but forget to ask us properly first. They can’t understand what we feel – and sometimes, we’re unable to tell them, because we don’t really understand it ourselves. That’s where books come in. They explain us to ourselves and to others, and make us feel less strange, less isolated and less alone. We might have lots of good friends, but even with the best friends in the world, there are things that no one quite gets. That’s the moment to turn to books. They are friends waiting for us any time we want them, and they will always speak honestly to us about what really matters. They are the perfect cure for loneliness. They can be our very closest friends.
Alain de Botton in A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader edited by Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick
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