Books that are worth reading – to me – do not turn into outlines easily.

Outline your life. You demarcate who you are by birthdays. But, is that really how your year went? Do you remember things in a line? When you read a book, is it the trajectory you recall, or the weight of moments pressing down upon you? It is the weight. It is the weight of life you remember, pushing your mind down deeper and deeper under the weight of what you remember.

Once passed, birthdays and the moments between them all rest like paper floating in the water of your mind. Paper clumps with paper, if it soaks into it, and sinks soon if it floats alone. Islands of paper form your self, floating in the mind’s water. When all these moments you’ve thrown behind you clump up and hold each other afloat and slowly, slowly wash away.

Outline that, if you can. Map it carefully, and measure it and delineate the soggy lines between the papers if you can.

If a book is worth reading, it is generally like that. It is such a connected mass of moments that extricating the individual bits feels like a dissection, which can only occur when something is dead.

I do not like outlines for books. I do not like reading them. I do not like writing them.

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