Speed Reads

remembering harper lee

Read Harper Lee's passionate defense of books

In 2006, Harper Lee wrote a letter to Oprah Winfrey about her lifelong love of books — a letter that was then published in Oprah's magazine, O. "Do you remember when you learned to read, or like me, can you not even remember a time when you didn't know how?" Lee writes in the letter. She goes on to passionately detail a childhood spent swapping books with friends:

Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me. I prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it.

And, Oprah, can you imagine curling up in bed to read a computer? Weeping for Anna Karenina and being terrified by Hannibal Lecter, entering the heart of darkness with Mistah Kurtz, having Holden Caulfield ring you up — some things should happen on soft pages, not cold metal. [Letters of Note]

Book lovers will find themselves nodding along. Read Lee's full letter at Letters of Note.