For me, reading a book is magic. When I was a youngster in Montreal and supposed to be asleep after the lights were turned out, I hid under my covers with a flashlight and devoured GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, PINOCCHIO, and sundry comic books like SUPERMAN and BATMAN.
But fictional books are the greatest comics of all. There are no boundaries other than your imagination. It's the theatre of the world, the theatre of your mind...limitless. And it's entirely you. When the book says love, you thrill to your feeling of love. When the book says "the horizon was filled with fire," -- towering plumes, sooty heat...
Nothing stands in the way of you and the word. It's those words that are the final piece of magic - words for you to interpret uniquely. Every word means something different to every person. So a book becomes a personal and intimate experience...a dialog, really, between you and the book.
A book responds to your emotions with phrases that catch, turn, and twist you in the wind and make you understand the profundity of language and the terrible truth that can be expressed in print. That's the history, the mystery of books and reading...and I loved it from childhood on.
Editor's Note: William Shatner is an Emmy Award winning actor and the author of Star Trek Memories.