Reading Makes Immigrants of Us All

“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.”

-Jean Rhys

I love this quote because I love reading and travel. So it feels a little like this author is having a conversation with me! OK, so it’s a conversation that spans a lot of years. But that’s how books work. So why not author quotes too?

Why I chose this author quote

I chose this quote because I find the author inspiring. Rhys was born in Dominica in the Caribbean, and moved to England aged just 16. She later moved to Paris, where she started her writing career. This quote isn’t a flippant remark. She really knew what it was to be an immigrant, and to feel the need for a home.

One of the reasons I write is to take people away from their everyday lives. There are a lot of people who don’t feel comfortable, or even safe, in their own homes. I hope that reading can be a kind of escape for them.

Much as I love travel, I’m not keen on the actual journeys. The transport part of any trip makes me a little anxious. This is when I like to have a book on hand, to keep me anchored. To give me a home in an airport, or on a bus, or wherever I happen to be.

What this author quote means to me

It’s comforting to know that wherever life takes you, and however your opportunities work out, you can always find a home. Sometimes, you might not be able to rely on the people around you. But you can always rely on your favourite authors.

I think this quote is also about making the best of your situation. Which is apt because Rhys wrote her best known book, Wide Sargasso Sea, over many years. It was published when she was 76. A practical reminder for anyone who needs it, that whatever it is you wanted to do, it is not too late to start now.

That’s what this author quote means to me. What does it mean to you?

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