Last Readings

Before going on, dear reader, you must know something: your life will not be better after reading this book. You will not be a better person either. It is important that this is clear, since some people believe they can find the solution to all their problems in books. We should not ask that much from them, since they do not ask much from us either: only that we keep our eyes glued to a piece of paper for a certain amount of time, when perhaps it would be much more interesting to look at a human face. Books do not require for us to be educated or to be experienced readers: readers of three thousand books, let’s say. Who we are does not matter to the book; it is enough that we approach it with open eyes.

You will surely say, dear reader: I know this book will not change my life, and I know it will not make me a better person, but it does not matter, I only want to have a good time. Well, there is something you should know: although books oblige us to pay attention to them, they also push our gaze to its margins to show us that there is an entire world outside which we are part of. It is good to keep this in mind. As it often happens, one book leads to another, and then to another, and this carries on.

Every book contains many other books, and each new book forces us to look at a new landscape. Now then, will reading ten, a hundred and sixty, or even two hundred thousand books change our life? No, dear reader, we must not think about that. After reading a few or many books, it is only possible to conclude that there was a first book, so there must be a last one. One that will shut in our hands with a bang.

Drawing by Alejandra Hidalgo