Reading is a provocation, a rebellion: we open the book’s door, pretending it is a simple paperback, and in broad daylight escape! We are no longer there: this is what real reading is. If we haven’t the left the room, if we haven’t gone over the wall, we’re not reading. If we’re only making believe we’re there, if we’re pretending before the eyes of the family, then we’re reading. We are eating. Reading is eating on the sly.
Reading is eating the forbidden fruit, making forbidden love, changing eras, changing families, changing destinies, and changing day for night. Reading is doing everything exactly as we want and “on the sly.”
– from “The School of the Dead” in Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing by Hélene Cixous, translated by Sarah Cornell and Susan Sellers