You stop at a newsstand or bookstore or library. And browsing you find just the book you’ve been looking for, the one that has in it exactly what you need in this time of your life, that will light your way. You take it home. Where it soon becomes clear that no, it isn’t what you thought—it’s all right in its way, interesting even, but just a book. Not the book.
But for that moment when you first browsed and skimmed you held exactly what you needed. As if treasure buried down in the dark cellar had been brought up and scattered in front of you, sparkling at your feet, lighting the way.
And if before you had read the book, you sat down and wrote as much of it as you could, wrote what you knew you’d find when you began reading, what then? Some of the passages would be vague, yes, but others present in surprisingly crisp detail. What would that book be about? And who is its author?