zadie smith on joy of reading

Illustration: Thomas Allen

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Because Reading Is a "Lifestyle Choice"
Quite often I am asked to recommend, as a practice, the habit of "reading." I like to do this, though I always feel a little phony. To recommend something implies that its presence in your life is a positive choice, like playing tennis or avoiding gluten. For me, being a reader, in summer or at any other time, isn't a "lifestyle choice." Rather, I made the choice—if that's what it was—so long ago, it has taken on an inescapable character in my mind. I think that if I were a very good swimmer, I would be proud to be so, but being proud of being a reader, in my case, is like being proud you have feet.
—Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and the essay collection Changing My Mind

Read the rest of Zadie Smith's essay on bibliomania