When I lived in Seattle, I once attended a reading of the Megillas Esther, the ancient story of the triumph of the Jewish people over the wicked Haman who intended to wipe them out from the face of the earth, that really was special because of the way that the reader went through the story. When he would read the lines of dialogue as spoken by people in the story, he would read them in their voices — Queen Esther in one way, the vicious Haman in his own nasty voice. I appreciated it quite a bit because I would often do the same thing when reading it to myself — and when reading most other fiction, for that matter. Even some nonfiction — I tend to hear the voice of David Sedaris when I am reading his autobiographical pieces.

My wife Elizabeth and I were at Whole Foods on the Upper West Side for some good wholesome food shopping. On our way out, a collection of books near the exit caught my eye. There was a sign inviting people to take and leave books. Every so often someone would come by and take the books to a charitable organization whose name I have already forgotten because I was so focused on the fact that there were a lot of books being given away.