“Pepper lost time…”

“Pepper lost time. As he continued reading, he lost even more. … He wasn’t transported from New Hyde to the beaches of Amity, he didn’t feel the New England sun on his skin or the salty breeze on his tongue, but he was reminded of the life beyond his bare bed, and distracted from all the hard questions he’d face once he put the book down. The reading became a muscle relaxant, a sedative, a salve, and there was nothing wrong with that.”

Excerpt from Victor Lavalle’s The Devil in Silver.  At this point in the novel, Pepper has been involuntarily committed to New Hyde mental hospital.  He is being punished by the staff there, confined to his room, where he sits on his bed and reads a copy of Jaws.

I like this quote because it portrays one of the joys of reading — the way that a book can suck you into it and, in so doing, provide you an escape from even the worst times of your life.