Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.
I've never really understood attachment to a place for reasons of birth. That my mother happened to give birth to me in a certain place doesn't, to my mind, justify any thankfulness towards that place. It could have been anywhere.
A writer stops writing the moment he or she puts the last full stop to their text, and at that point the book is in limbo and doesn't come to life until the reader picks it up and the reader flips the pages.
I remember, as a child, the confusion of not knowing what this place was where I was supposed to spend the night: it's a disquieting experience for a child. And what I would do was quickly unpack my books and go back to a book I knew well and make sure the same text and the same illustrations were there.
In no way am I demeaning writing or any other form of art because it's popular. What I'm saying is that anything fed into the industrial machinery to comply with rules of size and length and shelf-life has a hard time surviving as art.
There are certain readers for whom books exist in the moment of reading them, and later as memories of the read pages, but who feel that the physical incarnations of books are dispensable. Borges, for instance, was one of these. Those who never visited Borges’s modest flat imagined his library to be as vast as that of Babel. In fact, Borges kept only a few hundred books, and even these he used to give away as gifts to visitors. Occasionally, a certain volume had sentimental or superstitious value for him, but by and large what mattered to him were a few recalled lines, not the material object in which he had found them. For me, it has always been otherwise.