The Big Read Blog (Archive)


October 13, 2008
Washington, DC

"A thousand different sorts of trees, with their fruit were to be met with, and of a wonderfully delicious odor." -- Christopher Columbus

It turns out that -- despite my best Google efforts -- a Columbus Day quote that also references a Big Read title, or is from a Big Read author, is hard to find. (Feel free to prove me wrong. Any such quotes gratefully accepted through the Big Read Blog e-mail address.) I did, however, turn up the above quote from the man himself. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to contact some friends of The Big Read to get their answer to the question, "Why do I read?" I've been thinking a lot about how I would answer that particular question, and I think Signore Columbus has got it exactly right. His quote speaks to the curiosity that fuels my own reading, a thirst to immerse in diverse geographies, time periods, sensibilities, bodies, some of which mirror my own, some of which are wildly divergent, all of which make me a little less mysterious to myself. So, in honor of yesterday's holiday, I ask, what do you hope to discover in your own "thousand different sorts of trees", why do YOU read?