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Libraries really are wonderful. They're better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.
[From the introductory “Thanks and Notes”:] People tell you to write what you know, but I’ve found that writing what you know is much harder than making it up. It’s easier to research a historical period than your own life, and it’s much easier to deal with things that have a little less emotional weight and where you have a little more detachment. It’s terrible advice! So this is why you’ll find there’s no such place as the Welsh valleys, no coal under them, and no red buses running up and down them; there never was such a year as 1979, no such age as fifteen, and no such planet as Earth. The fairies are real, though.
Sometimes I’m not sure whether I’m entirely human.
I mean, I know I am. I shouldn’t think my mother is beyond sleeping with the fairies--no, that’s not how you say it. “Sleeping with the fairies” means dead. I shouldn’t think she’s beyond having sex with fairies, but if she did she’d boast about it. She’s never so much as hinted. She wouldn’t have said it was Daniel and made him marry her. . . .
What I mean is, when I look at other people, other girls in school, and see what they like and what they’re happy with and what they want, I don’t feel as if I’m part of their species. And sometimes--sometimes I don’t care. I care about so few people, really. Sometimes it feels as if it’s only books that make life worth living, like on Halloween when I wanted to be alive because I hadn’t finished Babel 17. I’m sure it isn’t normal. I care more about the people in books than the people I see every day.
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