We read to understand the world. We read to live many lives, by proxy. We read to find eternal life. We read to have a physical contact with the book, with its pages, with its paper. We read to find ourselves again. We read because we know we will not live long enough to read everything that has ever been written. I could not live with someone that never reads. We read to discover the traces others have left. I was given “Labyrinth on the Sea-Shore” by a person I hold very dear. The Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert devoted a few of his books to his travels. In Labyrinth, he tells us about Crete, Greece and Rome. Each chapter discusses the traces past civilisations have left behind. Travelling is thus similar to reading: it consists in finding the traces that were left by those who came before us.
Philippe Juvin, Member of the European Parliament