Thought Catalog

Ernest Hemmingway

I’ve never related to the classic idea of a writer—a miserable alcoholic who’s grossly underpaid and cynical about everything. Ernest Hemmingway drinking absinthe in a dive bar in Spain, Sylvia Plath putting her head in the oven: This is what it means to be a writer. Then you die at a young age and your value is only realized posthumously.

A girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder.