Books are our most intimate art-form. The reader does a temporary mind-meld with the author, and a collaborative world—their words and our imagination—is conjured from nothing. And because each reader’s mind be his own, each of those conjured worlds, each of those planes, are different. And because the libraries are filled with incredible books, those of us who are readers spend our whole lives creating these private planes, walking them, mapping them, comparing ours with those of other readers, and then returning to our own only to see the contours changed. And so we map anew.
Why any dedicated reading man would dream of this sorcery strictly with other men is beyond me. It goes against one of the great assets of reading—the voyage to new worlds. It would be as if Magellan said, “I like my small town fine enough.”
Put bluntly, if you call yourself a reading man, but don’t read books by women, you are actually neither. Such a person implicitly dismisses whole swaths of literature, and then flees the challenge to see himself through other eyes.