Webster was much possessed by death
And saw the skull beneath the skin;
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin.
Whispers of Immortality, T.S. Eliot
A study has shown reading is more relaxing than a cup of tea or going for a walk. We live so many lives now, our senses are so overwhelmed by emails and social media and deadlines and app notifications that you don’t turn off because someone might be trying to reach you. We are so self-obsessed. Escapism, deep involvement in some world other than our own, however utopian or morbid, is more nourishing than a hot drink. What’s more reading makes you more empathetic. Is there any other solo pursuit that can be so closely tied to community and connection? I’ve taken to keeping poetry on my Kindle for a quick hit of peace.