"To learn to read is to light a fire"

I have flown a Sopwith Camel on the dawn patrol, castor oil seeping into my flying coat as my eyes strained for triplanes in the rising sun. I have endured the brutality of the Soviet gulag, the last sparks of the will to live barely smouldering as a monstrous regime smashed men, women, and children into the frozen tundra. I have walked amid the heat and squalor of Rome as a tiny, persecuted sect called Christianity was born and began to rise inexorably in the hearts and hopes of the faithful. I have trained for and won the Boston marathon, a victory of mind and will as much as a physical triumph. I have done all these things, and more, as a reader, experiencing worlds, wonder and horror beyond the boundaries of time and space that I inhabit.

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