Reading separate books together

“Sometimes they would sit in the parlor together, both reading – in entirely separate worlds, to be sure, but joined somehow. When this happened, other people in the family couldn’t bring themselves to disturb them. All that could be heard in the parlor was the sound of pages, turning.” ― Alice HoffmanBlackbird House

People who read together in silence–except for the sound of pages turning–in the same room are usually comfortable together. I’m thinking of families and friends, not passengers on a plane or people in a waiting room at the train station.

Some say that when you use the technique of astral projection, you imagine yourself away to other worlds as a shaman does, leaving your body unattended. To some extent, this happens when we read. Books carry us away upon spells of words just  as surely as dreams carry us away while we’re sleeping.

During a family visit, we all sat in the living room reading our very disparate books. We weren’t there, yet we were there, linked both by our trust in leaving our bodies unattended and by our common, quiet activity. It’s a good feeling, almost as good as lovers who feel secure in silence while they sit on a park bench and day dream, holding hands or leaning against each other.

In the evening, the living room lamps create pools of light where each reader sits. Yet those pools overlap and we are all one within our shared light. I suppose we could each do this with laptop computers or phones for texting, but the books truly have more magic in them making for a deeper experience.

I hope you have also found this to be true.

–Malcolm