⟨ I Know I'll Often Stop and Think About Them ⟩

18-Let the Passion Flow

BOOK DARTS

Words & Photography / Holun Tang
Translation / Fanny Chan

閱讀總是伴著一種隱密的愉悅。

即使你看見我正在閱讀,卻無法看見我閱讀的心思。相反亦然,我會好奇你在閱讀的時候,那是一個怎樣的思緒形狀。一個人如何把書裡的東西吸收進去,到底是只有自己才懂,甚至連作者也無法知曉。

Reading often brings forth a mysterious pleasure.

You won’t be able to tell what’s on my mind when I read, nor can I tell what kind of thoughts you have when you read. No one but yourself can understand how to absorb the content of a book; not even the author.

我曾經羨慕別人以驚人的速度把那些大部頭文史哲巨著逐一啃下,後來知道自己的消化能力有限,不得不慢慢來,不要把自己逼到連閱讀的興趣也喪失掉。無法投入的書我是無論如何也讀不上心,半途而廢更不好受,如此一來也多少練就覓得心頭好的本領,讓書本們自行連接,一本書連接到另一本,一位作者連接到另一位,其中最美好的體驗是書也會巧妙地連接生活中的人,他們會帶你閱讀更多的書。

I used to be envious towards those who can finish reading a history or philosophy masterpiece at lightning speed. Fully aware of my own capability, I have to go slow, or else my interest in reading will be forced away. I can’t finish a book that I can’t engage in, and it makes me sad if I have to give up a book halfway through. Having gone through many trials and errors, I’ve gained the ability to pick the right book for myself. I think books are all connected in a way that when you’re done reading one it will bring you to the next, and then the next. What’s even more amazing is that books can also connect people who will encourage you to read even more.

唐諾在《閱讀的故事》一書裡引經據典就閱讀這個行為作出很多有趣的反思,諸如詰問人生中的第一本書在哪裡,或者如果沒有時間去讀書怎麼辦,其中在閱讀的記憶一章提到,最好的記憶「總有它和我們內心共鳴共振的所謂印象深刻成分,它對我們而言總是有線索、有來歷甚至是有秩序的,你知道該把它安置在自己記憶的哪個櫃子裡」。

In his book The Story of Reading, Tang Nuo shares a lot of interesting thoughts and reflections in regard to reading. For example: Where is the first book you owned? What should we do if there is no time to read? In the chapter “Memory of reading,” Tang remarks that the best memory “always has that so-called impressive element that resonates with our hearts. It is traceable, and sometimes comes in an orderly manner. You know where in your memory cabinet it belongs.”

於是我想像我那個記憶的櫃子,閱讀過後所剩下的東西似乎真的深藏於某個角落。我清楚記得青春期某個夏天我躺在床上看《聽風的歌》,《心》讓我在午夜撕心裂肺然後看不下去,Marina Abramovic的自傳替我打了生命的強心針,這些感覺是如此珍貴,安放在某個我跟書本思想密會的神聖格子裡,不過,打開來卻發現裡面是模糊不清的,只怪我從不強於背誦書中內容。當我讀過一本感覺是完美的書,我知道,我只需要全心擁抱那個沉浸其中的感覺。

So I looked through my own sacred memory cabinet, and realized that the memories left behind after years spent reading books are safely kept in the cabinet; The memory of that one summer in my adolescence when I laid in bed all day reading Hear the Wind Sing, the flashback of that midnight where I tore my heart out reading Kokoro, or the fact that Marina Abramovic’s autobiography lit up my boring life. I treasure all these precious memories and feelings even though they have become blurred and veiled as time goes by, and I blamed it on my reluctance to memorize book content for I am more concerned with immersing myself into the perfect book.

年紀在確實變老,意味我所擁有的閱讀時間愈來愈少,所幸換來了另一個好處,我現在可以開始重讀某些淡忘得七七八八的書,年少的躁動慢慢脫落,再用一個更透徹的心重讀那些念念不忘的書,在某一頁停駐良久,在那些曾經佚失又至關重要的句子旁輕輕打一個記號。如果十年前我曾經在某個地方劃過,我相信,今天我該會在那相同的位置再劃一次。

The fact that I am getting older means the time I have for reading is getting less and less. Though fortunately, I can now re-read, with a more thoughtful and mature mind, some of my favourite books with content I’ve long forgotten about. My eyes linger over the words, and lightly I place the book darts next to those that I’ve once forgotten. I believe wherever I leave the darts is the same place that I’ve noted ten years ago.