Marcel Proust on Reading

An extract from Proust's signature work
Marcel Proust
A brief excerpt from Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time:
[...] On the sort of screen dappled with different states and impressions which my consciousness would simultaneously unfold while I was reading, and which ranged from the most deeply hidden aspirations of my being to the wholly external view of the horizon spread out before my eyes at the bottom of the garden, what was my primary, my innermost impulse, the lever whose incessant movements controlled everything else, was my belief in the philosophic richness and beauty of the book I was reading, and my desire to appropriate them for myself, whatever the book might be. For even if I had bought it at Combray, having seen it outside Borange's - whose grocery lay too far from our house for Fran├žoise to be able to shop there, as she did at Camus's, but was better stocked as a stationer and bookseller - tied with string to keep it in its place in the mosaic of monthly serials and pamphlets which adorned either side of his doorway, a doorway more mysterious, more teeming with suggestion than that of a cathedral, it was because I had recognised it as a book which had been well spoken of by the schoolmaster or the school-friend who at that particular time seemed to me to be entrusted with the secret of truth and beauty, things half-felt by me, half-incomprehensible, the full understanding of which was the vague but permanent object of my thoughts.

Marcel Proust, 'Combray' in In Search of Lost Time
Translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin
Also at A Piece of Monologue: