I was first drawn to Atlas Shrugged early on in junior high, but not for the reasons I’m drawn to it now. It was the name and the cover that leapt out at me from the bookstore shelves. I loved mythology, particularly Greek, and was fascinated with the idea of what would happen if Atlas did shrug.
Several years later while in my father’s study, we sat there talking and I looked aimlessly across his shelves until my eyes landed on Atlas Shrugged…the very book that had caught my attention many times over the years. I mentioned it, and my father took it off his shelf and gave it to me, telling me it was a great book and it would change my life.
While I’m not sure it changed my life, at least not in the dramatic, world-altering way, it did affirm thoughts and feelings I’d had. So…maybe I guess it was pretty life changing. I don’t want to get into the philosophies of it here, I know there are others whose opinion differ from mine and that’s not my point today. I’m remarking on a book that had an incredible effect on me. Just a reminder that books have a remarkable power to do that.
I’ve since reread Atlas a few times. Yes, it might be a daunting book to get through, especially the first time, and there are places that drag or the philosophy is very over the top, but it’s reassuring. And it’s a philosophic novel, so of course Rand’s philosophy is going to be there; overtly so. But it’s that familiar world I can escape to when needed, revisiting characters that inspire me.
And it’s one of those books that reminds me why I love reading, among other things, but especially that. I’ll end here. What inspired me to write about the book was having seen the movie this past weekend. And I’ll get to the movie here too in a few days to share my thoughts. But…it of course got me thinking about the book again.