"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

30 May 2018


Imaginative [books] try to communicate an experience itself -- one that the reader can have or share only by reading-and if they succeed, they give the reader something to be enjoyed. Because of their diverse intentions, the two sorts of work appeal differently to the intellect and the imagination.

We experience things through the exercise of our senses and imagination. To know anything we must use our powers of judgment and reasoning, which are intellectual. This does not mean that we can think without using our imagination, or that sense experience is ever wholly divorced from rational insight or reflection. The matter is only one of emphasis. Fiction appeals primarily to the imagination. That is one reason for calling it imaginative literature, in contrast to science and philosophy which are intellectual.

This fact about imaginative literature leads to what is probably the most important of the negative injunctions we want to suggest. Don't try to resist the effect that a work of imaginative literature has on you.

Mortimer Adler, from How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

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