A Scandalous Bargain

A great book is a scandalous bargain.  

To create such a book, an author must assemble a preliminary distillation of ideas, recognize it as worthy enough to continue, overcome waves of fear and inadequacy, show up day after day to the page to write, scrap what was written, and try again.  They then must subject these (as yet unfinished) thoughts to conversations with interlocutors who offer critique.  This feedback in hand, the writer must then undergo the discipline of considering which bits of critique to integrate and which to let go.

(And all of this assumes as a prerequisite that the person has become someone who makes things.  This is no small feat, and a place to which many would-be creators never arrive.)

But when a wise person succeeds in doing all this and offers us a great book, the experience of it is like nothing else.  

Take Consolations, for example.  For me, working through each tiny chapter is like being bowed to by an ancient fighter, then being decisively overpowered, pinned to the mat, and offered a hand back up.  The process teaches me what I was not even cognizant that I needed to learn about the experience of living.

It is scandalous that I have access to this distilled experience for the price of one book.